Microcosmos was formed in Vancouver in the spring of 2010 to perform the rich repertoire of string quartets written in the past 100 years. The quartet takes advantage of the compactness and portability of a string quartet - four chairs and adequate light are all that is required - to present some of the greatest music of the 20th and 21st centuries in intimate spaces and sometimes unusual venues such as private homes, clubs, small halls, public and commercial buildings, for an audience that can experience the music close at hand.
The six quartets of Béla Bartók form the core of the quartet’s repertoire, complemented by important related works, including those by Canadian composers. Aside from the quartet's intimate 'house' concerts, they have been guests on other series including a performance of Benjamin Britten’s three quartets, celebrating his centennial in 2013 for Music on Main’s lauded ‘Cellar’ series, the premiere of eleven works for quartet as ensemble-in-residence for Vancouver Pro Musica’s ‘Further’ Series in 2015, and ‘Speaking in Ligeti’, an interdisciplinary collaboration with MMHop Productions and four dancers that toured to Halifax and Ottawa.
In 2015 the quartet launched the Kessler Academy, an annual educational initiative featuring a conductor-less orchestra mentorship program led by the quartet members. ()
“...thank you for learning and programming these wonderful pieces! It is a sincere joy to see his music performed and performed so well! I took a number of non-musicians to see you last set of concerts and the response was overwhelmingly positive from everyone who came, it is truly wonderful to be able to communicate the beauty and excitement of these pieces at all, but in a way especially so for people who would otherwise never come across in a fresh and living way.”
-Martin Reisle, composer
a string quartet