Join us for the Borodin Quartet 70th Celebration: Shostakovich

A rare chance to hear a triumph of modern Russian music
All 15 of Dmitri Shostakovich’s string quartets in concert

Concert II: Thursday, May 7, 8pm
Quartet No.4 in D major, Opus 83 (1949)
Quartet No.5 in B flat major, Opus 92 (1952)
Quartet No.6 in G major, Opus 101 (1956)

All concerts are held at the Vancouver Playhouse, at
Hamilton and Dunsmuir Streets.


Borodin Quartet

The acclaimed Borodin Quartet celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2015, and we celebrate 50 years of working with its members, from their first Vancouver concert in 1964.

In 1969, during the still-strained Cold War era, we presented the Borodin Quartet playing the entire Shostakovich quartet cycle for the first time in North America. To the audience’s surprise, the Borodins even premiered the newest piece, Quartet No 12, playing from the unpublished manuscript. The Borodin Quartet is the only active quartet to have rehearsed the music with the composer himself, and the original members have passed on this direct insight to their successors.

Much has changed since the Borodin Quartet was formed in 1945, but the vision, artistic values and integrity, and that specific Russian sound have been sustained.

“The quartets of Russia’s most distinguished living composer have no more authoritative interpreters.” –Saturday Review, 1969

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 -1975)

Dmitri Shostakovich lived during a dark time in Russian history. The ideology of the Soviets restricted intellectual freedom, and Shostakovich, who was purged twice under Stalin, kept a suitcase by his door in fear of being picked up by the KGB.

Shostakovich survived by composing music that satisfied the Communist Party theory of aesthetics. At the same time, he found ways to express his own distinctive voice in other music, most notably in his 15 string quartets written between 1938 and 1974. Some of these works could not safely be played in public for decades.

In the years since Shostakovich’s death, his quartets have found an increasingly positive response worldwide. Many now consider this cycle on par with the quartet cycles of Beethoven and Bartók.

Please note: all tickets are will call. For more detailed instructions, click here. 

This series is proudly sponsored by: