Lydian String Quartet

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2020, the Lydian String Quartet (Andrea Segar and Judith Eissenberg, violins; Mark Berger, viola; Joshua Gordon, cello) has performed extensively throughout the United States at venues such as Jordan Hall in Boston; the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; Lincoln Center, Miller Theater, and Weill Recital Hall in New York City; the Pacific Rim Festival at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and the Slee Beethoven Series at the University at Buffalo. Abroad, the Quartet has made appearances in France, England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Armenia, and Taiwan.

During their five-year “American Originals” Project, from 1995-2000, they performed and/or recorded over sixty works by American composers from the early twentieth century onward, accompanying concerts with workshops, lectures, and discussions.  The Lydians were the first to record many of these works, helping to bring them to the forefront of the American contemporary quartet repertoire. In recognition of their work, the quartet has received numerous Chamber Music America/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, grants from the Meet the Composer/Rockefeller Foundation/AT&T Jazz Program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. Other programs include “Around the World in a String Quartet,” a multi-year concert series that explores string quartet music from local world musical traditions in and beyond the western European art music setting; and “Vienna and the String Quartet,” a project surveying the heart of the Western classical string quartet repertory by juxtaposing new and old Vienna.

In addition to traditional concerts, the quartet offers programming with themes exploring concepts of time, place, the vernacular, and identity, as well as single composer programs, all-contemporary programs, cross-cultural collaborations, and mixed media programs (video, electronics, live painting projections).  The Lydians have collaborated wtih tabla player Sandeep Das, pipa player Chen Yihan, Syrian clarinetist/composer Kinan Azmeh, and others.

The Lydians' 29 available commercial recordings reflect their diverse and far-reaching repertoire, including works by Beethoven, Brahms, Ives, Ornstein, Persichetti, and Schubert as well as American contemporary composers they have long known and collaborated with such as Martin Boykan, Eric Chasalow, Peter Child, John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Steven Mackey, David Rakowski, Harold Shapero, and Yehudi Wyner. Their recording of John Harbison’s String Quartet No. 3 and The Rewaking was chosen by both The New York Times and The Boston Globe as one of the best classical recordings of 2001.

Founded in 1980, the quartet studied with Robert Koff, a founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet, and were awarded top prizes in international string quartet competitions, including Evian, Portsmouth and Banff, culminating in 1984 with the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music. Today the members of the Lydian Quartet are on the faculty of Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts.