Pyxis Piano Quartet was founded in 2009 to perform chamber music works from the sonata, duo, and trio repertoire as well as traditional and contemporary masterpieces for piano quartet. Compelling, engaging and informative, their performances have become increasingly sought after in the mid-Atlantic region. The Philadelphia Inquirer describes their work as “excellent,” and music critic Christine Facciolo writes that “balance, ensemble, superb intonation and sensitive interpretation characterized [their] performance.”
The Quartet has been heard along the East Coast in concerts from Virginia to Pennsylvania, and their performances have become a highlight of the Delaware arts scene. The 2018-19 season marks their 10th year both as an ensemble and as artists in residence at the Delaware Art Museum, where their three appearances will include a celebratory anniversary commissioned work by David Schelat. Upcoming full-length concerts also include Market Street Music’s Festival Concerts series (Wilmington), the Newark Free Library (Delaware) and in Philadelphia at the German Society of Pennsylvania. At the Market Street Music and German Society concerts, the ensemble will premiere a work by Chuck Holdeman featuring baritone Grant Youngblood.
Last season, Pyxis performed and coached sectionals at the Delaware Orchestral and Chamber Music Institute with guest artist and Arkansas Symphony co-concertmaster Andrew Irvin. Recent performance highlights have included regular concerts for Market Street Music; “Celebrate the Arts Series” at Doylestown (Pennsylvania) Presbyterian Church; return engagements at the Kent Chamber Music Series (Maryland) and the German Society of Pennsylvania; the Delaware Symphony’s Champagne Chamber Series at the DuPont Hotel Gold Ballroom; and debut appearances at the Annie M. Gaul Concert Series at St. John’s (Hain’s) Church (Wernersville, Pennsylvania). The ensemble has also been seen in Concerts on the Square at Holy Trinity Church Rittenhouse (Philadelphia); Saint Monica’s Church (Berwyn, Pennsylvania); a benefit concert with the Harmony for Peace Foundation; the Newark (Delaware) Free Library; and recitals as featured artists at the Delaware Chamber Music Festival and at Villanova University.
Pyxis delights in working with esteemed musical guest artists from the region and farther afield. Past collaborators have included composer Ingrid Arauco and faculty members from the University of Delaware, University of North Carolina School for the Arts, James Madison University, the Pennsylvania School of the Arts, and the College of New Jersey, as well as members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Relache Ensemble, and Serafin String Quartet.
The musicians of Pyxis are also committed educators. As private instructors they have a significant impact on their musical community, reaching over 80 students on a weekly basis. The ensemble has performed educational concerts for children at the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington Montessori School, Saint Monica’s School (Berwyn) and in southern Delaware under the auspices of Coastal Concerts, Inc.
The group takes its name from the Pyxis constellation, also known as the Mariners’ Compass, whose symbol is the compass rose. The points of the compass rose represent the new artistic directions that the group strives to take together while recognizing the different backgrounds and experiences of its musicians.