From rarely programmed pieces to celebrated masterworks, the 2022 Agassiz Festival’s theme is “Where Worlds Converge” and the featured guest performers this year are no strangers to genre and century hopping. 



The Penderecki String Quartet (PSQ) is one of the nation’s most celebrated ensembles, tackling a dizzying and diverse array of composers over their more than decade career performing together. 

Last seen at the 20th anniversary celebration of Agassiz in 2019, The PSQ returns to the city for plenty of music-making, performing 5 of the 7 days.

“It’s so much fun because you get this momentum going and you’re out on stage almost every day,” says violinist Jeremy Bell, noting the joyous opportunity to play alongside old friends and new ones. “It creates this really wonderful dynamic, it’s just a blast.” 

Started as a student group, the players came to international recognition as winners of the Penderecki Prize at the National Chamber Music Competition in Łódz, Poland in 1986. Now based in Waterloo, Ontario where they have been Quartet-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University since 1991, The Penderecki String Quartet has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation.

“It’s the love of music because without that it would be too hard,” says fellow violinist Jerzy Kapalanek, when asked about what has kept the ensemble going for more than 30 years. 

Dedicated champions of the music of our time, The PSQ has premiered over 100 new works from composers in Canada and abroad, with over three dozen recordings in their discography — ranging from new works to past masters such as Beethoven, Brahms and Bartók.  

Following Sunday’s opening concert, in which they performed music by Jessie Montgomery, Philip Glass and Antonin Dvořák, catch the Penderecki String Quartet playing Tuesday (Schubert and Wijeratne), Wednesday (Brahms, Haydn), Thursday (Penderecki, Mozetich, Bartók) and Saturday in the festival finale! 

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