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Telegraph Quartet with Marco Bonfigli, Clarinet
July 9, 2019
Telegraph Quartet with Marco Bonfigli, Clarinet

Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet, Op. 44, No. 1

Carl Maria von Weber: Clarinet Quintet, Op. 34

The Telegraph Quartet (Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violins; Pei-Ling Lin, viola; Jeremiah Shaw, cello) formed in 2013 with an equal passion for the standard chamber music repertoire and contemporary non-standard works alike. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “…an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape” and “powerfully adept… with a combination of brilliance and subtlety,” the Telegraph Quartet was awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.  The Quartet has performed in concert halls, music festivals, and academic institutions across the United States and abroad, including New York City’s Carnegie Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Chamber Masters Series and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Emilia Romagna Festival. The Quartet is currently on the chamber music faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as their Quartet-in-Residence.

Notable collaborations include projects with cellists Norman Fischer and Bonnie Hampton; violinist Ian Swensen; pianist Simone Dinnerstein; and the Henschel Quartett. A fervent champion of 20th– and 21st-century repertoire, the Telegraph Quartet co-commissioned John Harbison’s String Quartet No. 6 and gave its West Coast premiere in the fall of 2017 on San Francisco State University’s Morrison Artists Series. The Quartet gave the world premiere of Robert Sirota’s String Quartet No. 3, Wave upon Wave at Weill Recital Hall for their Carnegie Hall debut in 2018, sponsored by the Naumburg Foundation. The Telegraph Quartet also premiered Richard Festinger’s third string quartet, Icarus in Flight, a musical representation of climate change data from the year 1880 to projected simulations of 2080. In 2018 the Quartet released its debut album, Into the Light, featuring works by Anton Webern, Benjamin Britten, and Leon Ki­­­rchner on the Centaur label.

Beyond the concert stage, the Telegraph Quartet seeks to spread its music through education and audience engagement. In the Fall of 2017, the Quartet traveled to communities and schools in mid-coast Maine with Yellow Barn’s Music Haul, a mobile performance stage that brings music outside of the concert hall to communities across the U.S. The Quartet has given master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Collegiate and Pre-College Divisions, through the Morrison Artist Series at San Francisco State University, and abroad at the Taipei National University of the Arts and National Taiwan Normal University.

While the Telegraph Quartet is indebted to numerous mentors and teachers, their primary musical guidance and support have come from Mark Sokol, Bonnie Hampton, and Ian Swensen, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The Telegraph Quartet is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Marco Bonfigli was born in Latina (Italy) and graduated in 1996 at the Institute “A. Manzoni” of Latina and then in 1998 at the Conservatory “O. Respighi” (Latina) where he received his master’s degree under the guidance of clarinetist Francesco Belli. In 2002 he was called to play in the “Valley Symphony Orchestra” (Colombia), where he performed with international musicians. In the same year, he won the concertmaster competition of the “Symphonic Band Cali”.

In March 2003 he traveled to New York where he played with different chamber groups and took classes with Kalmen Opperman.

From August 2003 until June 2008 he was professor of clarinet at the “EAFIT University” in Medellin (Colombia). He currently teaches clarinet and chamber music at the Conservatory “Antonio Maria Valencia” of Cali, Colombia. Maestro Bonfigli’s concert activity consists of performances as a soloist as well as a member of chamber groups, including the Trio Harmonia Mundi (clarinet, cello, and piano), of which he is the artistic director and promoter and which has an intense musical activity around the different cultural scenes in Colombia.