Cecilia String Quartet

Audience as a Critic - Audience as a Critic




Catherine Cosbey,violin
Sarah Nematallah, violin
Caitlin Boyle, viola
Rachel Desoer, cello


Felix Mendelssohn
String Quartet in D major, Op. 44, No. 1

Katarina Curcin
String Quartet No. 3

Franz Schubert
String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 “Death and the Maiden”


James Graham, guitar

Augustin Barrios Mangore
Un Sueno en la Floresta


James Graham was excellent and mature in his playing – at one with his music. Our first Virtuosi Concerts experience. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Thank you. (J&A K)

Fabulous concert. A superb string quartet with wonderful phrasing and musicality. I hope they will come back again to Winnipeg. We are lucky that the Winnipeg Foundation enables this to happen this week. (JP)

A world-class performance. Exhilarating. Refreshing. A rare combination of virtuosic technique and expressiveness. BIAS ALERT – I’m the substitute first violinist’s father from Regina! J (RC)

Excellent concert. (MPL)

Virtuosi Concerts are a real enjoyment with the intimate setting at the U of W. It is a long winter without a Virtuosi subscription and the artists who perform are always exceptionally good and perform very entertaining pieces. Thank you! (CL)

Wonderful. World class. A treasure of a quartet. (PM)

This concert was excellent. The musicians were gifted and I truly enjoyed the program. Thank you for organizing this series. Thank you for the sponsors who make it possible. (Anon)

It was a treat to hear a contemporary Canadian piece. (Anon)

Absolutely fabulous! (Anon)

Thank you Winnipeg Foundation for making beautiful music part of Winnipeg’s cultural mosaic. Cecilia String Quartet is (a) most exceptional part of our music spectrum. (AM)

Excellent Curcin piece. James Graham also excellent. (DW)

Thank you Winnipeg Foundation for bringing us an awesome concert. (PH)

The Young Artist, James Graham, was wonderful – outstanding. The (YAP) series is a great idea. And the Cecilia Quartet: so emotive – such beautiful playing. One negative – there is something noisy in the ventilation system. (JC)

The Mendelssohn: scintillating playing. The Curcin: compelling dramatic, yet also melodic. Schubert: beautiful, melodic, spellbinding. (Anon)

Excellent young artist! Very talented. Cecilia String Quartet was outstanding! (VG)

The Schubert was wonderful. But it is nice to get a modern composer too. (SB)

Wonderful! Most enjoyable. Great talents. (Anon)

Wonderful concert. Enjoyed it very much. Just a thought, but it would it be possible to partner with Manitoba-made producers for some of the intermission snacks, or with pop-up restaurants? Just an idea. Also, are you on Instagram or social media? That’d bring in a younger crowd. Twitter and Tumblr are also good. (SI)

Cecilia String Quartet: Energy and excitement from the first note. Each movement had vibrancy and passion. The different instruments with different colours worked together like a fine tapestry. Curcin: totally fascinating; it showed all the different colours that could be effective with each instrument – wonderful rhythm. Schubert: Schubert certainly knew how to write lovely melodies, and these artists knew how to play them beautifully – perfect shape and warmth of tone. A most enjoyable evening with some of the finest artists. (VH)

A very exciting concert. Thoroughly enjoyed every piece, and loved the newly commissioned work. The Cecilia Quartet are brilliant and lively performers. The Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall is an intimate setting which allows the audience to “participate” in the performance in a unique way – almost as though we were integral to the performance! (MW)

Fantastic. (J)

I appreciated the young guitarist tonight, as well as your other young (YAP) performers [in earlier concerts]. Bravo for featuring Manitoba artists in your main programme. We, as Winnipeggers, are proud of them. (RH)

Perfect sound. Beautiful quartet. I like your place. Everything ok. Thanks! (MK)

A very exciting concert. It’s wonderful to have such amazing talent all working together with such understanding of the music and each other. (AB)

Really enjoyed the Cecilia String Quartet. Wonderful (Anon)

World class. (Anon)

Mendelssohn was thrilling. Katarina Curcin was wonderful. I could hear a teen-age girl pleading, shrieking, bored, stomping, scratching, sleeping, yelling and sleeping. Also loved the Schubert. Enjoyed the Winnipeg New Music Festival “Ghosts”! (DM)

(Note: As part of the WSO New Music Festival, The Cecilia String Quartet performed two additional Canadian commissions on Thursday evening (February 2) in the basement of the Hudson Bay Store)

Letter received following Cecilia String Quartet Concert:

Greetings Harry, Andrew and the team

What a wonderful evening of virtuosity on Saturday.

James Graham played the guitar sensitively and with great emotion. He has a love for the instrument and for classical music too. I’ve seen him previously in other venues. He seems to be maturing so quickly, and it shows so much in his music. The piece that he chose was really appropriate for this audience too.

Your main feature THE CECILIA STRING QUARTET certainly live up to their reputation. They played the Mendelssohn so smoothly. It was like rich cream being poured over a delicious dessert. I appreciated the Curcin too. Nice contrast to the other items in the program. Now, who could not love the playing of the Death and the Maiden? Sensitive and direct from the bows to our ears. A pleasure, indeed.

I also had the pleasure to sit beside Catherine Cosbey’s father who had driven in from Regina for the weekend.  We had a wonderful conversation about his daughter and the musical scene in Regina. What a lovely bonus for us.

Meeting the performers afterwards was wonderful. They are each so gracious and approachable. It was good to hear about their careers, and plans for future concerts and activities. This chat time was more relaxed than others; maybe because they have been here and feel at home in a ‘true Manitoba winter’.

Keep up the fine work folks. I love Virtuosi, and advocate it wherever I go. (GB)