for Teachers: 2015 Listening Guide — password-protected; email Natalie Raney for access


Over the last 16 years, the Cypress String Quartet has reached thousands of students and new chamber music fans through its annual presentations of Call & Response in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Following as many as two dozen or more educational outreach presentations before students of all levels and communities each year, the Cypress Quartet gives the World Premiere of the commissioned work in a public concert in San Francisco. The program contextualizes the new work, pairing it with the older masterpieces which inspired it, and demonstrating the composers’ work as a process of ongoing inspiration through the ages. Scholarship tickets permit participating students to attend the public performance free of charge.

C&R 2015 TICKETS NOW ON SALE buy_tickets

Program Details

(order subject to change)
String Quartet Op.59 No.2
Philippe Hersant
String Quartet No.4 “Der gestirnte Himmel” / The Starry Sky *World Premiere
String Quartet No.4


Call & Response 2015 NOW ON SALE buy_tickets
April 10, 2015 8:00pm

7:15pm Pre-concert Talk with composer Philippe Hersant
Marines Memorial Theatre
609 Sutter St 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

Call & Response 2015 Ticket Pricing BUY NOW
Preferred Seating $45 advance / $50 at the door / Groups of 10 or more: $40
General Seating $35 advance / $40 at the door / Groups of 10 or more: $30
Seniors $20 / Students $15

Public Preview Events

Prior to the Call & Response concert on April 10, 2015 at Marines’ Memorial Theatre at 8pm, the Cypress Quartet will be visiting many middle and high schools in the Bay Area, presenting this wonderful music in outreach performances.

Alongside school visits, the quartet will be giving adult outreach performances and previews, free and open to the public:

March 31 from 4:15-4:45pm at Mercury Cafe
corner of Octavia & Page Streets in San Francisco.
Mercury Cafe on Facebook

April 2 from 12:15-1:15pm at Berkeley Public Library
Central Library, 2090 Kittredge St. (at Shattuck) in Berkeley
Berkeley Library CSQ Event Info Page

April 4 from 11:00am-12:00pm at Community Music Center
544 Capp St. in San Francisco
Community Music Center Contact & Location Info Page

April 7 from 12:00-1:00pm at San Francisco Public Library
Main Library, 100 Larkin St. (near Civic Center BART/MUNI) in San Francisco
SF Public Library CSQ Event Info Page


Call & Response 2014

2014 marked the 15th Anniversary of the Cypress String Quartet presenting Call & Response in the SF Bay Area. 15 years of expanding the chamber music repertoire and inspiring the imaginations of audiences young and old. 15 commissions asking some of the greatest living composers to ‘respond’ to the ‘call’ of fascinating pairings in chamber music repertoire or literature. 15 seasons of educational outreach programs and culminating public concerts making explicit connections between music of the past and the culture of the present, demonstrating classical music’s continuing relevance for us all.

Featuring the World Premiere of String Quartet No.6 by George Tsontakis, C&R this season took place on March 14th, 2014 at the Marines Memorial Theatre in San Francisco. George’s String Quartet No.5 was also commissioned by the Cypress, for Call & Response 2006. This 15th Annual Call & Response concert included – as the ‘call’ for George’s ‘response’ – Schubert’s seminal String Quartet No.15 in G Major along two masterpieces by Webern: his ultra-romantic Langsamersatz and the contrasting Five Movements for String Quartet.
2014 Listening Guide
(password-protected, email for access)

Call & Response 2013

In 2010 the Cypress Quartet explored the connections between Music and Literature; Call & Response 2013 narrowed the focus to the influence of poetry in music. The program featured the World Premiere of a new work for String Quartet and Voice by Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, whose earlier String Quartet, Impressions, was commissioned by the Cypress for Call & Response 2003. Higdon’s latest is based on poetry of former American Poet Laureate, W.S. Merwin and carries the title “In the Shadow of Sirius.” The Cypress Quartet was joined onstage by soprano Christine Brandes for the performance.
Higdon’s new work was framed on the April 19th concert program at Herbst Theater by music by Dvorak – The Cypresses, 12 Moravian poems set by the Czech master as love songs for string quartet – and Schubert – his 13th Quartet, known as the Rosamunde.
(password protected; email for access)

Call & Response 2012

Call & Response 2012 The Masters: Tradition, Rebellion, and Innovation featured lyrical masterpieces by Haydn and Beethoven: Haydn’s Op.20 No.1 and Beethoven’s Opus 127. Known for his own incredibly lyrical music, Philippe Hersant answered the call of these ground-breaking works with a world premiere commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet. Hersant was the first international composer to participate in the Call & Response program. Read more about Philippe Hersant at Read a review of the world premiere at

Teachers: View the 2012 Call & Response Lesson Plan and Listening Guide
(password protected; email for access)

Call & Response Commissioned Works

15 Years of Inspiration, and Counting

Commissioned Year Piece
Philippe Hersant, France 2015 String Quartet No.4 Der gestirnte Himmel “The Starry Sky”
George Tsontakis, NY 2014 String Quartet No.6
Jennifer Higdon, PA 2013 In the Shadow of Sirius (Soprano and String Quartet)
Philippe Hersant, France 2012 String Quartet No.3
Jeffery Cotton, PA 2011 Serenade (String Quartet No. 2)
Elena Ruehr, MA 2010 Bel Canto
Kevin Puts, NY 2009 Puts Lento Assai
Kurt Rohde, CA 2008 Gravities
Daniel Asia, AZ 2007 String Quartet No. 3, The Seer
George Tsontakis, NY 2006 String Quartet No. 5
Elena Ruehr, MA 2005 Ruehr 4-1 String Quartet No. 4
Jeffery Cotton, PA 2004 Cotton 1-2 String Quartet No. 1
Jennifer Higdon, PA 2003 Higdon 1Impressions
Benjamin Lees, CA 2002 Lees 5-3 String Quartet No. 5
Anna Weesner, PA 2001 Flux
Dan Coleman, AZ 2000 Coleman 1-1 quartetto ricercare

Information for Composers

The Cypress String Quartet continues to seek out talented composers living and working among us today for potential collaborations in future Call & Response programs or other commissioning opportunities.

If you would like to explore a commission with us please contact us at