Borealis opens concert series with flair

Borealis String Quartet has played prestigious venues in New York, Rome, Beijing and Toronto, but it chose Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre to premiere the work specifically written for it by Coldstream’s Imant Raminsh, at the North Okanagan Community Concert Association (NOCCA) gala opening of its 2015/16 season Thursday, Sept. 24..

When the very first performance of his Quartet No 3 ended, to thunderous applause and a standing ovation, Raminsh quipped with his characteristic twinkle, “I’ve never heard it played so well.”

And indeed Patricia Shih on first violin, Yuel Yawney on second violin, Nikita Pogrebnoy on viola and Sungyong Lim on cello performed with unsurpassed clarity, integrity and artistry; energy too, particularly in Shih’s case.

They enthused about Raminsh’s Quartet No 3 and plan to include it in their regular programming.

“They’re wondering when I’ll come up with Quartet No 4,” said Raminsh. “I’m wondering too. Quartets are hard to write.”

Christine Pilgrim, Vernon Morning Star
Every piece was musical perfection. The Borealis String quarter was exceptional and for a small theatre, that was full to the brim, the audience gave a roaring applause and standing ovation. Read More...
Nelson Kootenay Lake

"With its intense, focused style of playing, drawing the maximum expression from every phrase, the quartet presents itself as a group of star players, the energy radiating from them like the stars."

"Given the enjoyment they gave to the audience, one can only hope it will not be long before the quartet returns."

New York Concert Review
"...the ensemble set a tragic mood with long, gently shaped phrases over throbbing accompaniment."

"...a committed performance."

"The group's sound was radiant from the elegiac Adagio to the defiant finale."
Strad Magazine

"This is one of the most closely mutually attuned quartets I’ve ever encountered... There is great precision and refined tuning, but also a dazzling surge and ebb like waves encroaching from a distant hurricane."

"The play in the main hall of the mansion was so emotional that even the floor vibrated---you could feel the music almost as much as you heard it."

D. Rane Danubian,
Borealis String Quartet engages visually as well

"With all the excitement the Borealis String Quartet has created across Canada, one might think they were sporophytic reproductions of Glenn Gould."

"Part of the movement to lead art music concerts away from the tradition of classical musicians being heard but not seen, the Borealis forces the listener to become as visually engaged with their music."
Harold Duckett, Knoxville News Sentinel
Borealis brings clear bravado
"... Borealis, led by the compellingly emotive Shih, attacked the work with confidence, precision, and control, and brought clarity to a challenging, complex piece..."
Jessica Werb, Vancouver Sun
Review: Borealis String Quartet
" Borealis has ability to make surprising twists actually surprising, and its seeming spontaneity enhanced the deeper sense of their performance... with exquisite technique, the group's sound is smooth and pristine."
Albuquerque Journal
Borealis String Quartet Review
"Borealis gave an intense performance full of drama and color...refined and controlled..."
Lyn Bronson, Peninsula Reviews, Carmel, CA
Duke: Luminous Performances from Borealis String Quartet
"... a concert that heralded the rise of another musical luminary... a luminous and serene performance ..., breathtaking and some of the quietest playing I have heard in 30 years of concert going"
William Thomas Waker, Classical Voice of North Carolina, Durham, NC
Borealis has sound as intense as ocean breeze
" ...they did it so smoothly they left you free not just to wonder at but wander within the exotic fantasies of design and colour..."
Stephen Pedersen, Halifax Tribune
"Light used to be faster than sound, until these people came along."
The Hamilton Spectator
Gifted ensemble brings exciting, riveting program
"...combination of superb musicality and impressive technique... Energy-charged, yet still full of nuance, they took the audience on an unforgettable ride. This was an exciting performance by a gifted group from whom we are sure to hear a great deal in the future"
Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press
Nothing stuffy in Borealis Quartet show
"The quartet's movements were animated, their faces full of expression. The passion and energy of the performance had me waiting for someone to break a string...a masterful performance"
Alexandria Stuart, Nanaimo Daily News
Borealis quartet dynamic, refined
"Dynamic, passionate, refined...bringing an edge to chamber music which is attracting international attention."
Rudy Baerg, Abbotsford Times
Quartet's approach a breath of fresh air
"A fastidious approach to colour and balance...the group's interpretation was always clean and convincing."
David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun
String quartet delivers musical magic
"From the first notes, an intense and energetic performance...superb dynamic range, fiery expression, flawless intonation."
Bob Park, Oliver Chronicle
Borealis String Quartet amazing on first CD
"......This is their first CD and it is, frankly, amazing... Their takeovers are pure magic - animated lines passing from violin to viola to cello and back again, seamless in spite of the passages being butted flush against each other without the help of an overlapping note.
Stephen Pedersen, Review Corner
Borealis String Quartet creates dramatic Sunrise
"...a delectable, forceful, rhapsodic, yet subtle performance."
Deryk Barker, Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
Montreal Chamber Music Festival concert introduces the Borealis to the city
"...sheer and refined...a dynamic performance that moved effortlessly."
Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette
Great Canadian Music Dream
"The Borealis String Quartet was first to perform last night and served notice with the lightning attack of the initial bars that they were not going to let anyone cling to their sober stereotypes of classical music and chamber quartets. The four musicians from British Columbia practically flew out their chairs, so vigorous and physical was their playing"
The Globe and Mail, Toronto
Bright Northern Lights
" The Borealis Quartet brings together four of the biggest young talents."
Lloyd Dykk, Vancouver Sun
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