The American Premieres
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The Pro Arte Quartet celebrates its centennial with commissioned works.

To celebrate their 100th anniversary, the Pro Arte Quartet commissioned works from four distinguished American composers (Walter Mays, Paul Schoenfield, William Bolcom and John Harbison), which were given their world premiere performances in 2011-2012. The Pro Arte Quartet was founded in 1911-12 by teenage prodigies who were students at the Brussels Conservatory. Stranded in the USA in 1940 by the outbreak of World War II, the Quartet became established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where they became the first professional string quartet in residence at an American university. In all, the Quartet has commissioned more than 100 new works so it was fitting that the centerpiece of their centennial celebration include commissions, performances and recordings of these new works.
Walter Mays, composer
String Quartet No. 2 "Dreaming Butterfly"
Pro Arte Quartet

Paul Schoenfield, composer
Three Rhapsodies for Piano Quintet
Pro Arte Quartet, Brian Hsu, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Piano Quintet No. 2
Pro Arte Quartet, Christopher Taylor, piano

John Harbison, composer
String Quartet No. 5
Pro Arte Quartet

“All of these works, in their own way, are challenging and serious, a credit to Pro Arte’s continuing commitment towards pushing boundaries in chamber music. …all in all this is a fascinating set worthy of both the composers and the performers.” (Fanfare)

“The performances are expert, full-throated, and expressive.” (American Record Guide)
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