From baroque to beatboxing, Emissary Quartet engages audiences with a vibrant musical repertoire.
Emissary Quartet (EQ) is dedicated to expanding the flute quartet repertoire by commissioning and performing new works, creating innovative educational programming, and reaching out to new audiences to advocate for the flute quartet as a genre.
Unconstrained by geographical boundaries, the flutists of EQ live across the United States - ranging from Texas, Ohio, and New York City - and meet for performance and teaching residencies throughout the year. Past residencies have taken EQ to Austin, New York City, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Boston, Utah, and Iowa. Some of EQ’s most recent events were performing and giving a masterclass at Flutistry and performing for the New York Flute Club. In 2023, they’ll be traveling to Pittsburgh, PA and Houston, Texas working with universities such as Carnegie Mellon University and West Virginia University.
Emissary Quartet has been the recipient of numerous grants and honors. In 2022, they were selected to attend the Avaloch Farm Music Institute and partnered with Flutistry to give a masterclass and recital. They were awarded a project grant from New Music USA to record three new works for flute quartet. EQ has also received support from the Friends of Flutes Foundation, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University. The quartet has presented at the National Flute Association Convention twice, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, and for both the New Jersey and Utah flute societies. In May 2016, EQ competed at the live quarterfinal round of the Fischoff Competition.
EQ has begun curating a catalogue of new works that fully exploit the dynamic expressive capabilities of four flutes together. The ensemble held an International Call for Scores throughout the 2016-2017 season and received over 190 submissions from composers across the globe. Three winning works were chosen to be performed and recorded, and videos of all three pieces can be viewed on YouTube. With the support of a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation, EQ collaborated with composer Annika Socolofsky to premiere one wish, your honey lips for flute quartet in November 2016. In 2015, Emissary Quartet worked with composer Peter Kramer to adapt his flute trio Wedge for four flutes, the new version of which EQ premiered. Emissary Quartet hopes to continue developing fruitful collaborative relationships with composers to further the music of their generation and make flute quartet music a significant part of the sound landscape of today.
The quartet’s serious commitment to expanding the flute quartet repertoire is paired with an eagerness to share this music with new audiences in person and online, and to inspire young musicians and flutists. EQ has led workshops for flute students of the Utah Suzuki Association and Seattle Music Partners focusing on extended techniques and ensemble playing. In April 2017, EQ partnered with Seattle-based composer and teaching artist Kaley Lane Eaton for a Young Composer’s Workshop, in which middle school and high school students explored their musical creativity through writing short pieces for Emissary Quartet.
Founded in 2009 by students of Jeanne Baxtresser and Alberto Almarza, Emissary Quartet (then under the name Con Brio Flutes), was featured at a 2010 Convocation at the Carnegie Mellon School of Music, with hundreds of students in attendance. EQ was also invited to perform at the 2010 Festival de Musica de Santa Catarina in Brazil. In both 2010 and 2011, Emissary Quartet was invited to play in Carnegie Mellon’s Collage Concert, the annual School of Music showcase. While still at Carnegie Mellon, EQ’s recordings quickly earned notice from colleagues across the country and their YouTube videos from 2010 now have over 29,000 views.