On behalf of the JACK Quartet I would like to sincerely thank Pierre Boulez for over a decade of dedication to the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY, to which we owe our group’s very existence. JACK made its debut ten years ago this summer, performing music by Xenakis and Lachenmann that still forms the foundation of our repertoire. We had the amazing opportunity to participate in the orchestra under Pierre Boulez’s masterful direction, his years of experience channeled into the most considered and subtly detailed interpretations of the Second Viennese School, Berio, and Varèse, in addition to the works of young talented composers and of course, Boulez’s own. I personally remember being very nervous for the first rehearsals, but his anecdotes and jokes put us all at ease and allowed us to maximize our focus and expression.
We also had the benefit of chamber music coaching with members of the Ensemble intercontemporain, and in this capacity we enjoyed the next-generation transmission of the maestro’s expertise through some of his closest collaborators. Now as we return to the Academy to work with participants on Berg’s Lyric Suite and Boulez’s Livre pour quatuor we feel honored and humbled to become part of this lineage: an expansive family tree with its numerous branches connecting the musical lives of so many talented musicians throughout the world. Congratulations and best wishes from JACK to Pierre Boulez on his 90th birthday!
The cellist Kevin McFarland, together with his colleagues from the JACK Quartet, took part in the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY in 2005 and 2006; in 2013 the JACKs served here as quartet-in-residence, and this summer they recently led a master class in the string quartet as part of the Academy.