Cavani Quartet | Artist Statement
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Artist Statement

Artist Statement

Pablo Casals said  “The greatest respect an artist can give to music is to give it life”

The Cavani Quartet has dedicated its artistic life to performing at the highest level and communicating the joy of discovery in the service of some of the most powerful music ever written. We remain profoundly committed to sharing our passion for chamber music with audiences of all ages and all walks of life.

The quartet’s musical career maintains an energetic balance between performing masterpieces by composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bartok; collaborating with living composers including Joan Tower and Margaret Brouwer; and creating new programming that joins multiple disciplines, such as visual art, poetry, and dance.

Our motivation to interact with audiences enhances our approach to teaching and mentoring. We find great joy in shaping the musical lives of the next generation through seminars that feature compelling audience engagement and special rehearsal techniques which accentuate a “team -work” approach.

It is the empathy and connectivity of playing and teaching chamber music, which we view as a metaphor for the kind of communication that we should strive for between races and nations. The Cavani Quartet’s fervent hope is to continue as interpreters and performers of this remarkable art form wherever the journey may lead us. We are proud to represent Cleveland,  as we travel throughout the world.




As quartet-in-residence at the renowned Cleveland Institute of Music since 1988, and winner of numerous accolades, including the prestigious Naumburg Award, the Cavani Quartet has been described by the Washington Post as completely engrossing, powerful and elegant.Hailed as passionate and inspiring performers, as well as ambassadors for chamber music, the Cavani String Quartet succeeds like few others in communicating the sheer joy of music making.  The only ensemble to be selected twice, in both 2005 and 2011, The Cavani String Quartet is the recipient of the Guarneri String Quartet Award for Artistic Excellence, from Chamber Music America. Appearances include Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Ambassador Series in Los Angeles, Muziekcentrum De Ijsbreker in Amsterdam, Festival de L’Epau in France, and the Honolulu Chamber Music Society. The Cavani Quartet has the honor of being a winner of The Cleveland Quartet Award at The Eastman School, well as numerous competitions including Fischoff, Banff and Coleman. The Quartet is committed to innovative and compelling programming which combines standard repertoire with contemporary music, especially the music of living composers. The Cavani Quartet has commissioned, performed, premiered and recorded the music of more than 30 living composers, including Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Dan Welcher, Joan Tower, Donald Erb, James Primosch, and Margaret Brouwer and is a recipient of an ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. In 2014, they will give the World Premiere of a Piano Quintet by Berklee School of Music professor Eric Gould, a joint project with Chamber Music Wilmington, NC, and will also participate in The New Quartet Project with composer Geoffrey Hudson, promoting new music for young chamber players. In 1988, the Cavani String Quartet was appointed as Artists- in -Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition to their concert series performed at CIM, they have been featured performers on The Cleveland Composers Guild, The Cleveland Ingenuity Festival, University Of Southern Illinois “Outside The Box” New Music Festival, and inaugurated programs such as Breaking Barriers with Bartok, COLLAGE: Music & Poetry, The New Quartet Competition, CONFLUENCE: New Music by Women Composers, and The Art of Listening. The Quartet has been featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and St. Paul Sunday, NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS television. Cavani Quartet recordings of Bartók, Dvořák, Schumann, Brahms, Erb, Chausson, Brouwer and Primosch are available on the Azica, Gasparo, New World, Albany, and Pantheon labels. Collaborations with distinguished artists include Denyce Graves, Stephanie Blythe, Nathan Gunn, Alisa Weilerstein, Itzhak Perlman, and members of the Juilliard, Emerson, Takacs, Ying, St. Lawrence and Cleveland Quartets. The Cavani Quartet has established itself as a dynamic leader in the field of Arts in Education, and has received no less than ten Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grants. Nationally acclaimed for their inspiring and innovative teaching and proactive approach to residencies, the Quartet has developed creative programs for audiences of all ages, including a series of childrens concerts for the Chamber Music of Lincoln Center. The Cavani Quartet has also collaborated with artists across disciplines to create programs that unite poetry, well as painting, theatre and dance with the string quartet medium, including the award-winning M.A.P. (Music, Art and Poetry) Program, and COLLAGE, Music & Poetry, with Poet Mwatabu Okantah. As result of their extensive experience in chamber music education, the Cavani Quartet was invited to participate as a leadership ensemble in the first national Chamber Music Educator/Ensemble Seminar sponsored by Chamber Music America. Formed in 1984, the Quartets summer music festival appearances and residencies include The Aspen Music Festival, The New World Symphony, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Kniesel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts and The Perlman Music Program. At the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cavani Quartet has developed The Intensive Quartet Seminar, the Apprentice Quartet Program, and The Art of Engagement for student ensembles devoted to the serious study of chamber music. The Quartet has served as Visiting Artists- in -Residence at The University of Texas, Austin, The University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, and The University of California, Riverside and most recently the inaugural year of The University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program. The Quartet has been on the Advisory Board of Amateur Chamber Music Players and currently serves on the Honorary Board of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. The Cavani Quartet was awarded a Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Project Support Grant for their innovative Beethoven & Brotherhood Project- performing the complete quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven in sixteen neighborhood libraries throughout Cleveland. The Quartet s acclaimed 2010-2012 series Breaking Barriers withBartok, featured the complete quartets of Bela Bartok, in a lecture-demonstration format, illuminating Bartoks work as an ethnomusicologist and humanitarian. During the 2013-2015 seasons The Cavani Quartet will serve as Master Quartet in Residence for The Chamber Music Society of Detroit for which they have been awarded their 10th Chamber Music America Residency Partnership grant. For more information: please visit