THE IRONWOOD QUARTET is made up of four dynamic and passionate Canadian musicians whose home base is Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. During the short years since their debut in 2014, Ironwood has become one of Canada’s premiere chamber music ensembles. Originally from Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Toronto, and with musical interests ranging from Beethoven and Ravel to Philip Glass, Ukrainian folk music to indie-rock, Queen, and Radiohead, their programming reflects a belief in the power of great music to unite.
They first performed together in the inaugural NAC’s WolfGANG Sessions at Ottawa’s Mercury Lounge (a series devoted to contemporary chamber music) and immediately felt the strength of their musical connection and their common passion for the tremendous and extensive repertoire for string quartet. Ironwood has achieved critical acclaim for their “take no prisoners” approach to performances and have since performed across the country (for the Ritornello, Musique Royale, Indian River, Classical Unbound, and Groundswell series/festivals), in Paris, and in collaboration with pianists Inon Barnatan, Jamie Parker, and Jon Kimura Parker.
In 2019, the quartet became directors of the Classical Unbound Festival in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Not entirely sidelined by the pandemic, the group performed a livestream concert for “NACO at the Fourth” in December 2020, and were ecstatic to once again take the stage before a limited live audience at Ottawa Chamberfest 2021, where Carissa Klopoushak is Artistic Director.
Spring/Summer 2023 sees Ironwood perform quartets of Waley-Cohen and Salonen at the NAC’s WolfGANG Session [video available here], a special program of Canadian quartets with Tai Chi Chuan Forms and Weapons at Toronto Summer Music, and much-anticipated return to Ottawa Chamberfest.