News

Brookline cellist debuts quartet CD

Friday, February 8, 2013

By BECKI COOPER

Special to the Journal

When four members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra first decided to form a cello quartet, they simply wanted to play good music with a unique twist.

The four influential cellists who comprise the Boston Cello Quartet, Alexandre Lecarme of Brookline, Blaise Dejardin, Adam Esbensen and Mihail Jojatu, began with beloved staples in classical music, but they quickly expanded their repertoire to include jazz, tango and comic medleys that include music from movies and video games. Their diverse play list and their style, quickly drew an international following on the music scene. This ranged from BSO season ticket holders to modern music lovers who had never set foot in a chamber music performance.

“One of the great things about the BCQ is our ability to reach a really wide audience, from seasoned concert goers to young children to jazz or rock enthusiasts,” Lecarme said. “We are serious musicians who play great music from many genres. Bringing together four cellists really creates a very special sound.”

When they began collaborating, they collectively decided they wanted to do something a bit different than what you’d expect from a classical music group, Esbensen said. The quartet was founded in Janaury 2010.

“We quickly discovered that our sound and style drew in a diverse audience of all ages and musical tastes,” Esbensen said.

Since their collaboration began three years ago, the quartet has opened for the Grammy-award winning band Train, recorded a soundtrack for the video game “Of Orcs and Men” for the Xbox 360, and has performed countless engagements in Boston, New England and New York City.

“It’s enjoyable to play chamber music with my colleagues. Obviously we already enjoy playing together in the cello section of the BSO, but in the BCQ we rotate chairs so that we all get a share of the limelight,” Lecarme said.

The Boston Cello Quartet released its debut album, “Pictures,” on Feb. 5. The CD features unique arrangements of classic pieces as well as original compositions written specifically for the quartet. It also features their signature, yet playful style that stretches the stylistic and musical range of the cello.

As quartet member Dejardin said, “There isn’t a whole lot out there in regards to repertoire for cello quartets, so this allowed us the opportunity to write our own arrangements and have fun with it.”

About the quartet

A native of Grasse, France, Alexandre Lecarme joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra during the 2008-09 season. He graduated with the Premier Prix de Violoncelle from the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris in 1997. Lecarme holds the Artist Diploma and the Master of Music degrees from Boston University as a recipient of a Cohen Foundation Grant and a dean’s scholarship.

Lecarme performs on a cello made by Jose Contreras in 1746, on loan from the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Strasbourg, France, in 1984, Blaise Dejardin made his debut at age 14, performing Haydn’s “C Major Concerto” at the Corum of Montpellier, France. First-prize winner at the Maurice Gendron International Cello Competition in 2005 in France, Dejardin became the youngest prize winner at the sixth Adam International Cello Competition in 2006.

Adam Esbensen joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2008 after spending five years as a cellist with the Oregon Symphony.

Romanian-born cellist Mihail Jojatu joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2001. He studied at the Bucharest Academy of Music before coming to the United States in 1996. He attended the Boston Conservatory of Music. A winner of the concerto competition at the Boston University School for the Arts, he also won first prize in the Aria concerto competition at the Boston Conservatory and was awarded the Carl Zeise Memorial Prize in his second year as a Tanglewood Music Center fellow.

The quartet’s “Pictures” is available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. For more information, visit www.bostoncello quartet.com.

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