New Orford String Quartet presents Pizzicato!

Four members of the New Orford String Quartet stand, holding their instruments, smiling at the camera. Behind them is a window sill with wood panels.

New Orford String Quartet presents Pizzicato!

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Entry for this concert will be at the Victoria Conservatory of Music – 900 Johnson Street.

Victoria Conservatory of Music celebrates 60 years!

We begin our celebration with Focus on Strings – A series of concerts featuring internationally renowned artists including the New Orford String Quartet (May 16), CelloFest: Paul Marleyn and Friends in Recital (May 17), and the Victoria Conservatory Strings Faculty Artists in Concert (June 15).

These concerts celebrate the work of Victoria Conservatory’s Founding Head of Strings Sydney Humphreys, and cellist James Hunter, who together with the Conservatory’s founding Principal, pianist Dr. Robin Wood, performed as Trio Victoria across Vancouver Island and throughout Western Canada, growing awareness of the newly founded Music Conservatory in Victoria, and the excellent quality of music instruction it would become nationally renowned for.

The Victoria Conservatory of Music is very excited to welcome the New Orford String Quartet, and especially violinist Jonathan Crow, one of the Conservatory’s most prominent Alumni, who studied with the Conservatory’s founding Head of Strings, Sydney Humphreys.

The New Orford String Quartet returns to the Alix Goolden Performance Hall with a captivating program showcasing the diverse ways in which pizzicato, a technique where the strings are plucked instead of bowed, is used to shape the expressive landscapes of string quartet music:

  • Caroline Shaw’s “Blueprint” experiments with pizzicato textures, creating intricate rhythmic patterns that weave a mesmerizing sonic tapestry.

  • Ana Sokolovic’s “Commedia delle’arte” utilizes pizzicato to evoke the playful, lively spirit of the Italian theater, adding a delightful rhythmic energy to the music.

  • Beethoven’s Harp quartet incorporates pizzicato passages to enhance the ethereal and dreamlike atmosphere of the piece.

  • Maurice Ravel’s magnificent string quartet takes the listener through a whole beautiful and distinctive sound world as heard through the prism of Ravel’s gorgeous harmonic language.

Throughout this program, pizzicato serves as a powerful tool, showcasing the expressive possibilities and adding a unique sonic dimension to the string quartet repertoire.

Caroline Shaw: “Blueprint”

Beethoven: String Quartet in E flat Major Op. 74 (“Harp”)


Ana Sokolovic: Commedia delle’arte

Ravel: String Quartet in F Major

We acknowledge the generous support of the Gail O’Riordan Climate and the Arts Legacy Fund through the Victoria Foundation.

About the New Orford String Quartet

Andrew Wan, violin, concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Jonathan Crow, violin, Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Conservatory of Music alum

Sharon Wei, viola, Associate professor of viola at Western University

Brian Manker, cello, Principal Cellist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra

Four musicians with equally stellar pedigrees formed the New Orford String Quartet with the goal of developing a new model for a touring string quartet. Their concept – to bring four elite orchestral leaders and soloists together on a regular basis over many years to perform chamber music at the highest level – has resulted in a quartet that maintains a remarkably fresh perspective while bringing a palpable sense of joy to each performance. The Toronto Star has described this outcome as “nothing short of electrifying.”

Learn more about the New Orford String Quartet at

Venue Accessibility

The 900 Johnson Street entrance is at ground-level and wheelchair accessible. There is an elevator located on the first floor: as you enter the building go down the ramp to your right and the elevator is on the left at the bottom. Priority seating can be provided at concerts if you have accessibility issues; please contact the Venues Department . Wheelchair accessible restrooms are located on the main floor, beside the lobby in the Reception and Registration area.

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