DA VINCI QUARTET
The Da Vinci Quartet is a full-time, professional, Colorado-based ensemble specializing in the performance and teaching of music to a wide audience, from connoisseurs to newcomers.
Its members - violinists Jerilyn Jorgensen and Susan Jensen, violist Leslie Perna, and cellist Katharine Knight - are artists-in-residence at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, as well as ensemble-in-residence at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. The ensemble also serves a residency with the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association.
Now in its 23rd season, the quartet's most ambitious projects and stunning triumphs have ranged from performances of the complete cycle of Beethoven quartets to the rediscovery of the treasures of early 20th century American music. The quartet's interest in the role of women in music has led to the performance of many works composed by women and music associated with the great American patroness of chamber music, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge.
Internationally recognized as artists of the highest professional standards in the Shostakovich and Naumburg Competitions, critics have lauded their "seamless ensemble sound," praising their performances as "abundant in feeling and fire." Members of the quartet enhance the concert experience with thoughtful remarks about the repertoire.
In July 1998, the quartet was featured on "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" in a program that highlighted their innovative programming for nontraditional audiences. The quartet's numerous interdisciplinary programs for children and families are also a part of its ongoing commitment to education and to the idea that the emotional message of music may be experienced by all. The quartet has taken its popular outreach programs to smaller communities across the United States as part of residency activities that also include formal concerts and university teaching.
In addition to PBS appearances and regional radio interviews, the quartet was awarded the 2001 Peak Area Performance Award for the "best classical music performance by a small ensemble" - the award was presented by Colorado's Pikes Peak Arts Council for the quartet's performance of works by Beethoven, Bartok and Mendelssohn.