JACK Quartet

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The JACK Quartet is an American string quartet dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music. It was founded in 2005 and is based in New York City. The four founding members are violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland.[1] In 2016, violinist Austin Wulliman and cellist Jay Campbell joined the quartet, replacing Streisfeld and McFarland.[2] The quartet met while attending the Eastman School of Music, and have studied closely with the Kronos Quartet, Arditti Quartet, and Muir String Quartet.[3]

JACK has received strong critical reception for their performances of quartets by Iannis Xenakis,[4] Georg Friedrich Haas,[5] Helmut Lachenmann[6] and Steve Reich,[7] and has performed at venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall,[8] and Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw. The group has also been heard at many contemporary music festivals, including the Donaueschingen Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Bali Arts Festival, the Reykjavik Arts Festival, and the Venice Biennale.[9]

The JACK Quartet's radio credits include appearances on WNYC’s New Sounds and Soundcheck,[10] “The Music Show” from Australian National Broadcasting,[11] and a full concert broadcast by NPR.[12]

The group has initiated many educational residencies with composition students from a variety of institutions including New York University, Columbia University, The University of Iowa and Berklee College of Music.[13]

Quartet members[edit]



  • Format: CD
  • Label: Albany Records
  • Writer: Amy Williams
  • Tracks: Richer Textures, Brigid's Flame, Falling, Astoria, Crossings, Abstracted Art, Cineshape 2


First Performance IV

  • Format: CD
  • Tracks: Robericus/Christopher Otto: Angelorum Psalat, Elliot Carter: String Quartet No. 3, Ruth Crawford Seeger: String Quartet, George Freiderich Haas: String Quartet No. 8

Cineshape & Duos

  • Format: CD
  • Label: Albany Records
  • Writer: Amy Williams
  • Tracks: First Lines (Lindsey Goodman, flute; Amy Williams, piano), Stop/Yield (Kevin McFarland, cello; Amy Williams, piano

), Wrest (Ari Streisfeld, violin; Amy Williams, piano), Duo (Noah Getz, saxophone; Andrew Welch, piano ), Cineshape 1 (Lindsey Goodman, flute; Scott Christian, percussion), Cineshape 3 (Lindsey Goodman, flute; Kevin McFarland, cello; Scott Christian, percussion), Cineshape 4 (Amy Williams, piano), Cineshape 5 (Lindsey Goodman, flute; JACK Quartet)


Laura Schwendinger: Quartets

  • Format: CD
  • Label: Albany Records
  • Writer: Laura Schwendinger
  • Tracks: Creature Quartet: Hymn for Lost Creatures (JACK Quartet), Sudden Light (Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo soprano; Christopher Otto, violin; Ari Streisfeld, violin; Kevin McFarland, cello), String Quartet in three movements (JACK Quartet), Song for Andrew (Christopher Otto, violin; John Richards, viola; Kevin McFarland, cello; Christopher Taylor, piano)


  1. ^ "Members". JACK Quartet. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  2. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/arts/music/two-jack-quartet-founders-to-depart.html
  3. ^ "JACK Quartet returns to alma mater with program of contemporary music". Eastman School of Music. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  4. ^ Ross, Alex (1 March 2010). "Xenakis in New York". The New Yorker.
  5. ^ Swed, Mark (20 April 2010). "Georg Friederich Haas' revelatory romp in the dark". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (2 September 2010). "JACK Quartet Makes Good". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Schweitzer, Vivian (5 August 2012). "JACK Quartet at Rite of Summer Music Festival". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "JACK Quartet Live Album". Wigmore Hall. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Artists". Lucerne Festival. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  10. ^ "The Jack Quartet". WNYC’s Soundcheck. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  11. ^ "The JACK Quartet". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Hear the Complete JACK Quartet Concert". NPR. 6 April 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  13. ^ Murray, Kirk (13 October 2011). "Our Music Students Do Know Jack". Iowa Now.

Further reading[edit]

  • Richards, John Pickford, Ari Streisfeld, Christopher Otto, Kevin McFarland, and Joshua B. Mailman. 2014. "Interview with the JACK Quartet". Perspectives of New Music 52, no. 2: 119–53.

External links[edit]