Diderot String Quartet—named after the eighteenth-century French philosopher and Boccherini enthusiast Denis Diderot—brings a fresh approach to works of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Diderot came together in 2012 after having first met at Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School. The four musicians share a background in historical performance and a passion for the string quartet genre; they found the thrill of exploring the quartet repertoire on period instruments to be irresistible.
Recent and upcoming engagements for Diderot String Quartet include Friends of Chamber Music Vancouver and Early Music Vancouver, Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music (NE), Music Before 1800 (New York City), Chamber Music Corvallis (Corvallis, OR), Early Music Society of the Islands (Victoria, BC), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (Chicago), Music in the Somerset Hills (Bernardsville, NJ), Hemet Community Concert Association (Hemet, CA), Academy of Early Music (Ann Arbor), Fullerton Friends of Music (Fullerton, CA), Electric Earth Concerts (Peterborough, NH), Bitterroot Baroque (Hamilton, MT), St. Cecilia Music Series (Austin, TX) and the Morgan Library (New York City). Diderot also enters a fourth year as Quartet in Residence at the Washington National Cathedral, and in Spring 2019 collaborates with conductor-harpsichordist Harry Bicket.
Diderot String Quartet has served as guest faculty for Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and been in residence at Aldeburgh Music in the U.K and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (New York City), and has performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art and Carmel Bach Festival. Other notable events include the recent premiere of Diderot’s first commissioned work—Small Infinities by composer Lembit Beecher—and the release of the group’s recordings of Mozart and little-known composer Hyacinthe Jadin.
Internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor, as well as an accomplished harpsichordist, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of baroque and classical repertoire, and in 2007 became Artistic Director of The English Concert, one of the UK’s finest period orchestras. He became Chief Conductor of the Santa Fe Opera in 2013 and from 2018 assumed the Music Directorship. Productions at Santa Fe in recent seasons have included Fidelio, La Finta Giardiniera, Romeo et Juliette, Alcina and Candide. Other productions include operas at The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper and Liceu, Barcelona. Born in Liverpool, England, he studied as a pianist at the Royal College of Music and read music at Oxford University.
Plans for the 2018/19 season include return visits to Metropolitan Opera (The Magic Flute), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Ariodante), Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera (Così fan Tutte and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with Renée Fleming), Prague Philharmonia featuring Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus, and whilst in Chicago also conducts Music of the Baroque. Plans with The English Concert include his own arrangements of Mozart works for mechanical organ, Bach Cantatas for Advent and Wayne Eagling’s ballet Remembrance, set to Handel’s Ode to St Cecilia’s Day, with the New English Ballet Theatre. The English Concert continues its annual Handel opera series with performances of Semele in Europe and the United States, including the Theatre des Champs Elysées, Barbican Centre and Carnegie Hall.
His many Grammy and Gramophone nominated recordings include discs with Renée Fleming, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, and Ian Bostridge.
Biography courtesy of IMF Chicago.