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Simin Ganatra, violin I • Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin II
Masumi Per Rostad, viola • Brandon Vamos, cello

Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often daring repertory choices, the Pacifica Quartet has carved out a compelling musical path. Since the group first came together in 1994, the ensemble has swept top prizes in several leading international competitions from the Cleveland Quartet Award to the Naumburg. In 2006, the Pacifica was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, only the second chamber music ensemble ever to be selected.

The Pacifica Quartet tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Far East, with frequent broadcasts. Prolific in the recording studio, the quartet’s acclaimed recordings include the complete string quartets of Mendelssohn, Dvořák chamber works, and the complete quartets of Easley Blackwood. Recitals include cycles of the complete string quartets of Beethoven. The Pacifica was appointed a member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two programme for gifted young musicians in 2002. The Quartet is an ardent advocate of contemporary music, commissioning and performing as many as eight new works a year. A champion of the string quartets of Elliott Carter, the ensemble has distinguished itself with performances of the complete cycle of five quartets in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Cleveland, and abroad in Japan, Germany, and the Edinburgh International Festival. As resident string quartet for Contempo, one of the country’s leading contemporary music organizations, the Quartet presents a series of concerts each year devoted exclusively to new music.

In 2004, the Pacifica Quartet was appointed Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. The Quartet members also serve as resident performing artists at the University of Chicago and at the Longy School of Music. The Pacifica Quartet was awarded top prizes in three of chamber music’s most important international competitions for young ensembles: the 1996 Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the 1997 Concert Artists Guild Competition, and the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Competition. In 2002, the Quartet was further honored with Chamber Music America’s prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, which led to a series of concerts in eight of America’s most prestigious venues.

The members of the Pacifica Quartet share a unique history of personal and musical friendship. First violinist Simin Ganatra, born and raised in southern California, initially played with cellist Brandon Vamos and violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson while they were all teenagers. Sibbi Bernhardsson later introduced violist Masumi Rostad to the group. Originating on the West Coast, where it played many of its earliest concerts together, the quartet takes its name from the awe-inspiring Pacific Ocean.

The Pacifica Quartet was named Ensemble of the Year for 2009 at the Musical America Awards.

Simin Ganatra: G.B. Ceruti, Cremona, 1810
Sibbi Bernhardsson: Carlo Antonio Testore, 1764
Masumi Per Rostad: Joseph Hill, London, 1770
Brandon Vamos: Gasparo da Salo, Brescia, c.1580

Role: Ensemble 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BLACKWOOD: String Quartet Nos. 1-3 Cedille
Chamber Music
BRAHMS, J.: Piano Quintet / SCHUMANN, R.: String Quartet No. 1 (Pacifica Quartet, Pressler) Cedille
Chamber Music
CARTER, E.: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 5 (Pacifica Quartet) Naxos
Chamber Music
CARTER, E.: String Quartets Nos. 2, 3 and 4 (Pacifica Quartet) Naxos
Chamber Music
CEDILLE ON THE MOVE (Sampler) Cedille
Chamber Music
Chamber Music (Guitar Quintet) - BOCCHERINI, L. / CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO, M. / TURINA, J. (Souvenirs of Spain and Italy) (Isbin, Pacifica Quartet) Cedille
Chamber Music
CRAWFORD / HINDEMITH / JANACEK: String Quartets Cedille
Chamber Music
DVORAK: String Quartet in G Major / String Quintet in E-Flat Major Cedille
Chamber Music
MENDELSSOHN: The Complete String Quartets Cedille
Chamber Music
MOZART. W.A.: Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581 / BRAHMS, J.: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115 (McGill, Pacifica Quartet) Cedille
Chamber Music
RAN, S.: Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory / HIGDON, J.: Voices / ZWILICH, E.T.: Quintet (Contemporary Voices) (O. Murphy, Pacifica Quartet) Cedille
Chamber Music
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: String Quartets (Complete) (The Soviet Experience) (Pacifica Quartet) Cedille
Chamber Music
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: String Quartets Nos. 13-15 / SCHNITTKE, A.: String Quartet No. 3 (The Soviet Experience, Vol. 4) (Pacifica Quartet) Cedille
Chamber Music
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: String Quartets Nos. 1-4 / PROKOFIEV, S.: String Quartet No. 2 (The Soviet Experience, Vol. 2) (Pacifica Quartet) Cedille
Chamber Music
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: String Quartets Nos. 5-8 / MYASKOVSKY, N.: String Quartet No. 13 (The Soviet Experience, Vol. 1) (Pacifica Quartet) Cedille
Chamber Music
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: String Quartets Nos. 9-12 / WEINBERG, M.: String Quartet No. 6 (The Soviet Experience, Vol. 3) (Pacifica Quartet) Cedille
Chamber Music

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