Beo String Quartet
January 14, 2024 at 3 p.m.
Minsky Recital Hall
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Beo String Quartet

Sunday, January 14, 2024 at 3 p.m.
Minsky Recital Hall

The Beo String Quartet

The Beo String Quartet, founded in 2015, has created a niche for itself as a daring, genre- defying ensemble. Rigorously trained in the classical tradition, the Beo members also know their way around contemporary music. Their performances of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich have been compared to those of the best among 21st century international string quartets.

On January 31, 2023, the Beo String Quartet made an auspicious New York début at the distinguished Morgan Library and Museum. On the same day, the quartet released a new album on their NeuKraft Records label entitled 131, named for Beethoven’s celebrated String Quartet No.14 in C-sharp minor, Op.131. In addition to the Beethoven, the recording includes Missy Mazzoli’s “Enthusiasm Strategies” and “19/20” by Beo violist and composer Sean Neukom.

Highlights of Beo’s past and current season include two tours of California; being selected to showcase at the Chamber Music America annual conference; a collaboration with Charleston Ballet; Dakota Chamber Music; Lakeside Chautauqua; Chamber Music Raleigh; Colorado State University; and international appearances at the Festival Internacional de Música do Pará, Belém, Brazil; and the Ibagué Festival, Colombia.

Undaunted by artistic or logistical challenges, they play the masters in a variety of settings, collaborate with living composers, and explore technology’s capacity to the fullest. Called “absolutely spectacular” by composer Marc Mellits (University of Chicago), and “an ensemble whose music-making speaks to the heart as well as the mind” by composer Richard Danielpour (Curtis Institute of Music), Beo defies categorization. Works such as “Haydn Recycled” and “Projection 1: Triple Quartet” combine virtuosic quartet writing and staging in various forms. To date, Beo has performed more than 100 concert works, including some 45 world premieres, throughout Europe and the United States.

Beo regularly collaborates with living composers including Richard Danielpour, Marc Mellits, Missy Mazzoli, Lawrence Dillon, Joel Hoffman, and Charles Nichols. As part of its annual residency with the Charlotte New Music Festival, Beo hosts an annual composition which yields a winning work selected from 100+ submissions. Every year, the quartet then records the composition and makes a point of programming it frequently in subsequent seasons.

Tickets starting at $38, including all fees, K-12 student tickets free


Beo String Quartet

Jason Neukom, 1st violin | Andrew Giordano, 2nd violin | Sean Neukom, viola

Ryan Ash, ‘cello

Program, University of Maine:

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
String Quartet in G major, Op. 33 No. 5 Hob.III:41 Vivace assai
Largo e cantabile
Scherzo. Allegro – Trio
Finale. Allegro

Sean Neukom (b.1983)
El Balcón (Written for Beo String Quartet)

Gabriela Ortiz (b.1964)
Mictlán (Place of the Dead), from “Altar de Muertos”


Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884)
String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, Op. 116 (“From My Life”)
Allegro vivo appassionato
Allegro moderato alla polka
Largo sostenuto

Here’s what the critics have to say:

George Grella, covering the Morgan Library concert for New York Classical Review, wrote:

“Beo String Quartet makes an outstanding New York debut … one expects exact intonation and clear articulation from quartets, at all speeds and dynamic levels …The Beo Quartet had all that technical facility, to which they added a sound that was grainy with a touch of velvet, robust and woody—superior technique wrapped in a classic sound … the sheer sound of the quartet was invigorating and deeply satisfying. As was their artistry, which came across in both the programming and the playing … skill, passion, and strength.”

And Frank Daykin, had this to say in The New York Concert Review:

“Beo” means: to bless, make happy, gladden, and delight. Based on this one introductory hearing, I believe the Beo String Quartet is poised to do just that, to an ever widening circle of audiences … absolute purity of intonation … supernatural one-ness of interpretive intent that animates the best quartets … Bravo Beo, I hope to hear many more good things from and about you for years to come.”

The March/April 2023 issue of Fanfare includes several fine reviews of their new album, 131. “In short, this is a hip, full-immersion quartet capable of far-reaching achievements … this young ensemble has reached the essence of what it means to be inspired by Beethoven … The fusion of past and present makes this release resonate with our times as few CDs do.” – Peter Burwasser. And Ken Meltzer, in the same issue, wrote, “A compelling, thought-provoking, and musically satisfying journey.”


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