The partnership will make music more accessible with free concerts at Boston Public Schools and the Boston Public Library studio.
Boston, MA (November 6, 2023) – As part of its commitment to making world-class live music available to the broadest possible audience, GBH Music welcomes the Ulysses Quartet as its first-ever quartet in residence. The season-long partnership with the renowned ensemble furthers GBH Music’s ongoing effort to connect with listeners of all backgrounds and ages through more than fifty performances and events, beginning with an appearance in the Boston Public Schools on Tuesday, November 7.
“The Ulysses Quartet is a modern radio ensemble bringing all types of listeners into the unparalleled experience of musical artistry at the highest levels,” said Anthony Rudel, general manager of GBH Music. “The partnership is reminiscent of the Golden Age of Radio, when, prohibited from playing recorded music, many radio networks or stations would employ in-house orchestras to perform live for listeners. Today, we are partnering with the Ulysses Quartet to ensure our audiences can access quality live music.”
As part of the innovative arrangement, the Ulysses Quartet will spend five weeks in a diverse range of Boston Public and Massachusetts schools, bringing their signature music engagement programs to students from kindergarten to senior year. The quartet will visit Brighton's Thomas A. Edison K8 School in November; East Boston's Mario Umana Academy K-8 in January; Dorchester's Jeremiah E. Burke High School in February; and Jamaica Plain's The English High School in March. In collaboration with GBH's sister station, NEPM, the Ulysses Quartet will also visit public school students at the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts in May.
"I am so excited to partner with GBH Music on this effort. Teaming up with GBH Music and the Ulysses Quartet is part of our ongoing commitment to enriching the educational experience of our students. This project builds on our work to provide diverse and inspiring cultural opportunities that extend beyond the classroom and foster a lifelong love of music and the arts," said Mary Benson Skipper, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools.
The Ulysses Quartet will also perform for GBH Music audiences throughout the 2023-2024 season, highlighted by four free hour-long performances in the GBH Studio at the Boston Public Library at 12 noon on November 8, January 10, February 14 and March 13. Additional in-studio performances by the Ulysses Quartet will be transformed into broadcasts for WCRB In Concert and recordings for future release.
“We believe strongly in the power of classical music to educate, entertain and improve society. To be able to work with this remarkable team at GBH is a dream come true,” said Rhiannon Banerdt of the Ulysses Quartet.
In October, the Ulysses Quartet began to record Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9 in C major, Op. 59 in GBH’s Fraser Performance Studio and will continue that recording and other projects in the acoustically acclaimed space as quartet in residence. The group previously recorded Sea Change String Quartets, an album of music by Worcester-based composer Joseph Summers, in Fraser Performance Studio. They are fresh off the October release of a new album, Shades of Romani Folklore.
The Ulysses Quartet’s residency at GBH is made possible by a generous contribution from the Mattina R. Proctor Foundation.
“This initiative aligns perfectly with the mission of our foundation to champion worthwhile projects benefiting our children and community. Mattina Proctor believed strongly in the value of fine music, and we are pleased to support GBH Music in this important pursuit,” said Jeffrey D. Hutchins, trustee of the Mattina R. Proctor Foundation.
GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories and information to audiences wherever they are. GBH’s local television channels include GBH 2, GBH 44, GBH WORLD and GBH Kids. With a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England with GBH 89.7, Boston’s Local NPR; CRB Classical 99.5; and CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station. From Boston to the Berkshires, from Worcester to the Cape and Islands, GBH is dedicated to connecting the Commonwealth through news, programming, learning tools and events. GBH has been recognized with hundreds of the nation’s premier broadcast, digital and journalism awards. Find more information at gbh.org.
About Ulysses Quartet
The Ulysses Quartet has been praised for their “textural versatility,” “grave beauty” and “the kind of chemistry many quartets long for, but rarely achieve” (The Strad). Founded in 2015, the group won the grand prize and gold medal in the senior string division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition. The quartet’s members hail from Canada, the United States and Taiwan. They have performed in such prestigious halls as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jordan Hall, the Picasso Museum in Málaga and Washington’s National Gallery of Art among many others. At Juilliard from 2019 to 2022, they were the Lisa Arnhold Fellows, serving as the School’s Graduate Resident String Quartet for 3 years. The group’s name pays homage to Homer’s hero Odysseus and his 10-year voyage home. The members of Ulysses perform on instruments and bows on loan from the Maestro Foundation and private donors.