Lydian String Quartet receives rave reviews in Buffalo

The Brandeis group performs as part of the Slee/Beethoven String Quartet Cycle Series

Lydian String Quartet

“So perfectly in synch are these musicians that sometimes, especially in very soft passages, they do not even sound like a quartet. They sound like a voice, or a rustle, or a sigh. They can bend the timing together, craft crescendos and decrescendos of breathtaking subtlety and turn out nifty dramatic endings.”  - The Buffalo News

Brandeis’  Lydian String Quartet returned Sunday from Buffalo after a performance as part of the annual Slee/Beethoven String Quartet Cycle Series. The evening was an aural triptych featuring three of his quartets, one from each of his three periods. During their stay, they also worked intensively with young composers who carry on the tradition of writing for this timeless, expressive genre, the string quartet.

Click here to read The Buffalo News review of the Lydian String Quartet's performance.

Click here to listen to a WBFO radio news story on the concert.

The Slee/Beethoven String Quartet Cycle is one of the longest-running concert traditions in Buffalo. It was inaugurated by the Budapest Quartet in 1955 and has continued to the present with performances by some of the finest string quartet ensembles in the world. It is very likely the only concert series in the world to present the cycle of Beethoven string quartets on an annual basis.

The series was established by the estate of Frederick Caldecott Slee (1870-1954). Following the instructions in Mr. Slee’s will, Mrs. Alice Slee (1875-1956) set up a bequest at the University of Buffalo to fund an annual cycle of six concerts of all the Beethoven string quartets. The bequest also stipulates the order in which the quartets are to be performed. 

The first cycle of Beethoven quartets was performed by the Budapest String Quartet beginning in September 1955. The ensemble remained the Slee Quartet-in-Residence until 1965 and served on the faculty of the Music Department. The quartet was also a significant participant in the concerts of the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, performing 45 times from 1931 to 1965. The Society would have completely cancelled the concert season of 1934-35 due to a lack of the financial means to pay performers. The Budapest Quartet waived its usual fee to give the only performance for the Society that season.

Since the series began in 1955, forty-seven different ensembles have performed either part or all of the Beethoven string quartet cycles. Among those ensembles are some of the foremost string quartets in the world.

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