Walter & Elise Haas Fund: Hear the Cypress String Quartet Play Farewell

May, 2016
By Frances Phillips, Program Director, Arts and The Creative Work Fund

The Walter & Elise Haas Fund joins with grantees and collaborators to ensure access and create opportunity for everyone. Normally, that involves bringing organizations, programs, and services to life. In the case of the Cypress String Quartet, however, our push for greater access to quality arts experiences for all is tied to helping a celebrated ensemble bring its work to a close.

Violinists Cecily Ward and Tom Stone, violist Ethan Filner, and cellist Jennifer Kloetzel celebrate their 20th and final season as the Cypress String Quartet with a series of free concerts. Over the next two weeks, they are performing all of Beethoven’s 16 string quartets in locations distributed across the city of San Francisco. Each concert makes live, free, high-quality chamber music accessible to many who would otherwise likely lack access. read more »

WDAV Radio Blog: The Cypress String Quartet’s Commitment

May 7, 2016

Commitment is important if any kind of relationship is to have lasting value. When a group of people band together and commit themselves to a common goal the results can be simply remarkable. We see this in music quite often, whether it is within an orchestra or a chamber ensemble.

The successful string quartet, for example, consists of four musicians who have formed an alliance in order to achieve a common goal that all four individuals have realized make up the center of their collective being. Yes, it is a very emotional commitment, indeed. For it is the emotional commitment to excellence that results in such ensembles as San Francisco’s Cypress String Quartet. For the past twenty years violinists Cecily Ward and Tom Stone, violist Ethan Filner and cellist Jennifer Kloetzel have set new standards for community outreach with their neighborhood concerts as well as the commissioning of new works from leading contemporary composers in their numerous “Call and Response” projects. And with a repertoire of 18th and 19th century music from composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Dvorak to 20th and 21st century composers as Schulhoff, Griffes, Lees, Higdon, Puts and others, the Cypress String Quartet has built a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic as one of this generation’s finest American ensembles. read more »

SF Chronicle: Cypress Quartet brings Beethoven to the Tenderloin

May 5, 2016
by Joshua Kosman
Media: Tim Hussin

The regulars at St. Anthony Dining Room in the Tenderloin have the drill down pat — the flow of the food line, the protocol for getting second helpings, the sight of familiar faces. What they didn’t anticipate on Wednesday, May 4, was having a string quartet regale them with Beethoven’s music while they ate a free lunch.

“Well, that was special, and unexpected,” said Cathy Carpenito, a 40ish San Francisco resident who had dropped into the facility with her friend Sly Ham, 59. “We were walking by and just saw the violins through the window.” read more »

SFCV.ORG: Cypress SQ Pops Up With Ludwig van B.

May 3, 2016
by Marc Macnamara

The Cypress String Quartet returns on May 4 for two weeks of free concerts. The program includes the complete string quartets of Beethoven, whose works are at the heart of their repertory.

It’s also a celebration of the quartet’s 20th anniversary; a thank-you gesture to San Francisco for having been such a reliable host all these years, and also what you might think of as a dramatization of the ‘gospel of unexpected beauty.’

The series lasts through May 19. Venues include St. Anthony’s Dining Room, the West Sunset Playground, Justin Herman Plaza, Japantown’s Peace Plaza, Mission Dolores Park, Jane Warner Plaza, Ft. Funston, Bernal Heights, General Hospital, the park at Hayes and Octavia, the City Hall Rotunda, Sutro Baths, the Botanical Gardens, and Yerba Buena Gardens. read more »

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Concert review: Cypress String Quartet leaves on a high note

By Elizabeth Bloom
April 27, 2016

If you didn't see the Cypress String Quartet perform at Carnegie Music Hall this week, you probably missed your chance to hear them live.

The San Francisco-based quartet announced earlier this year that it will disband in June, so the ensemble’s concert on Monday represented both its debut and its swan song in the Chamber Music Pittsburgh series.

But the quartet’s legacy will live on in the form of a robust trail of recordings, including three of the four works featured on Monday's long program. read more »

SF Weekly: Cypress String Quartet at St. Anthony’s Dining Room (Beethoven in the City)

By Jessie Schiewe
April 27, 2016

On November 9, 1822, Prince Nicholas Galitzine of Russia sent a letter to Beethoven asking for three string quartets at a price "you think proper." More than two months later, Beethoven wrote back, accepting the commission and quoting each opus at 50 ducats. Though this wasn't Beethoven's first string quartet, it was in this later period of his life — he died in 1827 — that he wrote the bulk of them, while occasionally ill and bedridden. read more »

SJ Mercury News: Classical Notes (Beethoven in the City)

Source: By Georgia Rowe, corresepondent April 25, 2016

Throughout its 20-year career, the Cypress String Quartet has performed thousands of concerts, commissioned dozens of new works, recorded more than 15 albums and earned a loyal following in the Bay Area. The San Francisco-based foursome -- Cecily Ward and Tom Stone (violins), Ethan Filner (viola) and Jennifer Kloetzel (cello) -- has been heard in concert halls across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America and on the popular Netflix series, "House of Cards."

All good things must end, however, and earlier this year, the Cypress announced that this season would be its last. The quartet plays its final salon concerts May 13-22 in Berkeley, San Francisco and Palo Alto; a farewell concert is scheduled for June 26 at the Green Room in San Francisco's Veteran's Building. read more »

KQED: Cy and David’s Picks: …20 years of Beethoven

By Cy Musiker
April 28, 2016

May 4 – June 26: The Cypress String Quartet set out 20 years ago to play and record all of Beethoven’s string quartets (with a few detours for some modern composers). Now that they’re done, they’re disbanding. It’s not, said cellist Jennifer Kloetzel, that they aren’t still finding fresh insights into Beethoven’s amazing cycle of quartets: read more »

SF/ARTS: Beethoven Pops Up All Over Town

May, 2016
by Larry R. Larson

Cypress String Quartet performs “Beethoven in the City,” 16 free concerts throughout San Francisco in a farewell “tour around town.”

“We’ve been forged in the fires of Beethoven,” declares Jennifer Kloetzel, Cypress String Quartet cellist. After a distinguished two-decade run, the Quartet—whose other members are violinists Cecily Ward and Tom Stone and violist Ethan Filner—is capping its legacy with a series of free concerts across San Francisco under the umbrella title “Beethoven in the City.” “Not a week has gone by in the past 20 years that we haven’t played, talked about, rehearsed or recorded this music,” Kloetzel says.

The series comprises 16 string quartets of Ludwig von Beethoven that span the composer’s life. They are arguably the most intimate and personal of his works, offering a spiritual journey of Western culture. Cypress will play each of the quartets in a “pop-up” concert in 16 different locations in the city. read more »