When JACK Quartet made their Czech debut at our 2019 festival with a programme of Xenakis quartets, their electrifying concert provided ample proof for why the New York Times calls them '[America's] leading new music foursome.' This year they return with a specially-curated evening of music celebrating the work of avant-garde composer John Zorn, in the year of Zorn's 70th birthday.
'The JACK men, some of Mr. Zorn’s most able and enthusiastic interpreters, [leaned] into both the pieces' gritty aggression and its moments of cartoonish levity, like when Mr. Richards cued his fellow players with whips of his bow.'
New York Times
JACK are regular collaborators with Zorn, and it's easy to see why the composer trusts them so much as interpreters of his work. Zorn's quartets are as abrasive, wide-ranging, and thrilling as the rest of his oeuvre, featuring abrupt changes in mood and tone, complex syncopation, snatches of musical quotation, and a restless playfulness, as he strives to make use of all the tonal and textural possibilities of the string quartet form. JACK are more than a match for this, and can now perhaps be regarded as the premier interpreters of these works: their forthcoming album of the complete Zorn quartets, scheduled for 2024, promises to be definitive.
'Anything and everything goes in Zorn's constantly evolving musical world: his pieces are a vision of what happens when postmodern practices become something much more meaningful.'
JACK Quartet has performed in some of the world's most presitgious venues (Carnegie Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Suntory Hall), but the Prague Sounds audience has the chance once again to experience them up-close and personal at La Fabrika. John Zorn is a towering figure in modern music: composer, saxophonist, and long-time supporter of the most innovative artists on the downtown New York scene, his work in many forms resists easy categorisation: although known as an 'avant-garde' musician, Zorn's pieces are often visceral and exciting and, as such, have found an audience with music lovers of all stripes.
Christopher Otto – violin
Austin Wulliman – violin
John Richards – viola
Jay Campbell – cello
Cat o' Nine Tails
The Remedy of Fortune
Estimated duration of the concert: 70 minutes