In September of 2010, I heard about a concert to be given at the Longy Conservatory of Music in Cambridge, by the Boston Cello Quartet.  I'd never heard a cello quartet perform before; listening to the  Boston Cello Quartet was my first experience, and it made a huge impact on me.  I had fallen in love with the sound of the cello.  From that point on, I made a point of attending every BCQ concert I could.

The members of the Boston Cello Quartet—Blaise Déjardin, Adam Esbesen, Alexandre Lecarme, and Mihail Jojatu—are also members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  They formed the quartet in January of 2010 as a way to express their love for, and explore the infinite possibilities of, the cello.  The Their repertoire is eclectic and wide-ranging, including exquisite cello quartet arrangements of traditional pieces by Bach, Dvorak, and Debussy, as well as occasional more modern works.  The BCQ is unique; it is the first time in the history of the Boston Symphony that such a cello quartet has been formed.  In addition, the members rotate the role of leader for each piece, which is perhaps unique in the world of cello quartets.

I made up my mind to compose a piece expressly for the BCQ.  “Waltz of the Black Ants” was influenced by my background in jazz composition, while being written in a new form for me, the cello quartet.  I was excited—but then I had to present my piece to the BCQ.  It was a huge challenge for me to write my first e-mail, as I am generally quite shy.  In the end, I summoned my courage and sent it.

Their welcoming and generous response was more than I had hoped for.  “Waltz of the Black Ants” made its premiere at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall in July of 2011, beginning a strong and fruitful relationship between the Boston Cello Quartet and me.  The piece was played as part of the BCQ's program throughout Massachusetts in the following year.  It was played in The Shed at Tanglewood for an enthusiastic audience when the BCQ opened for the popular group Train.  Many of the quartet's audience members have commented on the piece's unique, playful, jazz-influenced style as a highlight of BCQ concerts.

The Boston Cello Quartet released their first CD called Pictures in 2012 includes my composition “Waltz of the Black Ants”. 

The collaboration continues— the second composition entitled “The Life of Birds” had premiered on August 24th 2012 at Tanglewood. the third composition entitled “Four Crayons” had premiered on August 24th 2013 at Tanglewood as well. A longer and more ambitious work, those pieces became a part of the BCQ's repertoire.

The Boston Cello Quartet performs at Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood

The Boston Cello Quartet’s first album “Pictures”

------ This unique debut album represents an exploration of the limitless possibilities of the cello. The quartet’s members: Blaise Déjardin, Adam Esbensen, Mihail Jojatu and Alexandre Lecarme perform a wide-ranging repertoire while rotating the role of leader for each piece. Blaise Déjardin has worked diligently to expand the quartet library by writing new arrangements to complement existing and newly commissioned works.

From their album notes

1. The Marriage of Figaro, Overture in D Major K.492 4:13

2. Pictures At an Exhibition, Promenade 1:38

3. Pictures At an Exhibition: III. Tuileries 1:08

4. Pictures At an Exhibition: V. Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells 1:18

5. Pictures At an Exhibition: X. the Great Gate of Kiev 4:28

6. Flight of the Bumblebee in A Minor 1:20

7. Suite Bergamasque: III. Clair De Lune 4:11

8. The Barber of Seville, Overture in E Major 7:18

9. Sheep May Safely Graze in B-Flat Major, BWV 208 3:54

10. Humoresque in G Major, Op. 101, No. 7 3:06

11. Marche Militaire in D Major, D.733 4:26

12. Adagio in G Minor 5:54

  1. 13.La Muerte Del Angel 3:38

  2. 14.Waltz of the Black Ants 4:57

15. Wolfgang Variations: Symphony No.35 / Symphony No.6 / Jaws Theme / Hungarian Dance No.5 / William Tell, Overture / Live and Let Die / Aquarela Do Brasil / Cello Concerto No.1 in C Major / La Marseillaise / Orphee Aux Enfers / Korobeiniki