Friends of Chamber Music

Friends of Chamber Music presented The Borodin Quartet with pianist Joseph Kalichstein for two performances, at the University of Miami Gusman Hall and the Coral Gables Congregational Church in February.

The quartet was formed in 1945 as the Moscow Conservatoire Quartet with four students from the Moscow Conservatory, Mstislav Rostropovich  on cello, Rostislav Dubinsky and Nina Barshai on first and second violins and Rudolf Barshai on viola.

The quartet first met Dmitri Shostakovich in 1946 and became an interpreter of his compositions. In due course they became known for their performances of all the quartets in the Shostakovich quartet canon. The quartet performed at the funerals of both Joseph Stalin and Sergei Prokofiev, who died on the same day in 1953. In 1955 the quartet was renamed after composer Alexander Borodin. For over 70 years the quartet has continued with legendary players. Their performances of Shostakovich are definitive. Some quartets achieve a melding of the sounds of each instrument. For me, the Borodin Quartet is characterized by the soloistic playing of each member that is unique. Joined by pianist Joseph Kalichstein, their performances of Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81 and Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat Major, Op.44 were sublime, another idyllic week night in Coral Gables.  Friends of Chamber Music is the best ticket in town.