3: Amara Piano Quartet – Jan. 18, 2016


at Chrysler Museum of Art Kaufman Theater


  • Mozart: Piano Quartet in g minor, k. 478
  • Bridge:  Phantasy Piano Quartet (1911)
  • Brahms:  Piano Quartet in A Major

Innovation joins tradition as the Amara Piano Quartet rises anew from the brilliant history that defined its predecessor, the Ames Piano Quartet. The ensemble chose the name “Amara” to send a message that is new yet classic, that combines a sense of mystery and timelessness with a beautiful sound. It is a name that, in the great literature and languages of the past, had associations with mythic paradise, with immortality and the eternal, and with something beloved. Like the new name suggests, the quartet will continue to perform for its audiences the immortal, beloved music of the past while it looks also to commission new compositions to become the masterpieces of the future.

For the Amara Piano Quartet, the 2012 season is a time to build upon a history of over 30 years of concerts by the previous Ames Piano Quartet as cellist George Work and violist Jonathan Sturm welcome violinist Boro Martinic-Jercic and pianist Mei-Hsuan Huang to the ensemble following an international search. Audiences across America continue to greet the APQ’s diverse programming blend enthusiasm, and to comment upon the eloquent, symphonic sound the ensemble delivers from the stage. The Washington Post aptly described the piano quartet as “one of the most heavenly combinations of instruments around,” and reviews of concerts and CDs include praise such as: “the four generated nearly limitless excitement… arching lyricism, poetic eloquence, and great accuracy,” and “one of the best chamber music recordings of the century.”

Now with individual members drawn from orchestral concertmasters, competition winners, outstanding teachers, and with over 100 years of combined experience brought to their performances, the Amara Piano Quartet is poised to become a name recognized world-wide in the circles of chamber music excellence. The new quartet continues a long tradition as an ensemble that has toured to critical acclaim throughout the United States, giving concerts in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, San Diego, Washington D.C. During the 2013-14 season, the Amaras have engagements to perform in Canada, Virginia, Ohio and Iowa, and have plans to continue the former quartet’s notable tours to Mexico, Cuba, Europe, South Africa, and the Far East.

The Amara Piano Quartet is in residence at Iowa State University and its members, all present ISU Music faculty, include (left to right) George Work, cellist; Mei-Hsuan Huang, pianist; Jonathan Sturm, violist, and Boro Martinic, violinist. Since its original formation in 1976 as the Ames Piano Quartet, the ensemble has released fourteen compact discs, including ten for the Dorian/Sono Luminus label, and four for the Albany label, all of which have received national and international critical acclaim. The Amara Piano Quartet plans to continue this recording legacy along with commissions that bring new masterpieces to the piano quartet literature.