Poster Miro Quartet
The Miró Quartet, founded in 1995, takes pride in finding new ways to communicate with audiences of all backgrounds while cultivating the longstanding tradition of chamber music.
New Classical Tracks®

Miró Quartet explores 'Home' through the lens of four Pulitzer-winning composers

New Classical Tracks (extended interview): Miró Quartet
New Classical Tracks - Miró Quartet
New Classical Tracks - June 5, 2024

Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, Miró Quartet – Home (Pentatone)

The Texas based Miró Quartet’s newest album Home has been taking shape over the past five years and explores what “home” means through the lens of four Pulitzer Prize-winning composers — including two new commissions.

Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, violinists and members of the quartet, talk about the ways we think about home, family, nation, community — and how every departure from and return to home changes us.

The album opens with a piece of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts. What is the piece inspired by?

Ching: “Puts was moved to write the piece when he was looking and reacting to photos and images coming out of the Middle East. Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, among many others, were so torn by war that all the citizens and people living there were essentially forced out because it was no longer livable. These people are leaving their home and moving into uncharted territory, foreign countries. So the piece begins with very homelike music, very comfortable music, and it's very quickly pushed out of that comfort zone.”

The second piece on the album, George Walker’s iconic Lyric for Strings, embodies the feeling of “home” that many of us feel with our family. How did this piece come to be?

Fedkenheuer: “Walker grew up spending a lot of time with his grandmother. She had escaped the slave trade and her husband was killed in the slave trade. Walker grew up with his grandmother really being a guiding light for him, seeing the world filled with joy and opportunity and that type of perspective, even though you know his surroundings and a lot of what his family suffered through is quite dark and grim. He was the first Black graduate of the Curtis School of Music, and he graduated with not just one degree, but two, in piano and composition in the 1940s.

“His grandmother passed away during his first year there at the Curtis Institute. And so, we've seen throughout history that composers turn to the craft of the string quartet in their most vulnerable moments to express that type of vulnerability and emotional palette. And so Walker composed his first string quartet and dedicated this second slow movement, which is the Lyric for Strings, to his grandmother. It's dedicated to her memory, and it's such a gorgeous and thoughtful piece on its own. And then when you hear the context of the story and learn more him and realize that he was a phenomenal life and soul.”


Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, Miró Quartet – Home (Pentatone)

Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, Miró Quartet – Home (Amazon)

Miró Quartet (official site)

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