Top-flight quartet leader quits

Top-flight quartet leader quits


norman lebrecht

June 07, 2016

June 1, 2016, Bloomington, IN -The Pacifica Quartet has announced the departure of founding member and first violinist, Simin Ganatra. Ms. Ganatra, who has been the first violinist of the ensemble since their founding in 1994, will be leaving at the end of the 2015-16 season to assume an expanded role at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and pursue other musical opportunities. The Pacifica Quartet will announce Ms. Ganatra’s replacement at a later date.

Violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson remarked, “For more than 20 years, we have had the great privilege and honor of collaborating with Simin. She has been an inspiration to us not only as an artist, but as a friend and colleague as well. Her unwavering commitment to the Pacifica Quartet and her boundless energy have helped to shape and mold who we are today. We are so very proud of Simin and wish her nothing but the best on her new adventure. As we say farewell to Simin, we look forward with much excitement to the next leg on our musical journey.”

Simin Ganatra commented, “When I look back over the past two decades of my life, I am awed by all of the accomplishments of the Pacifica Quartet. The performances at home and in places far distant, the recordings of music both familiar and groundbreaking, the masterclasses that inspire the next generation of players – it is truly breathtaking. The decision to leave was not an easy one, but after 22 years with the ensemble I feel ready to explore other musical opportunities. I will excitedly watch as my colleagues continue to grow artistically and further develop this remarkable ensemble into the quartet of the future.”

simin ganatra



  • Will Duffay says:

    I was listening to their Shostakovich 15th on the train into work this morning. Very very good quartet indeed. I hope they find somebody good to replace her.

  • NYMike says:

    A teflon-coated group with dodgy intonation and ensemble playing. I’ve never understood their position in today’s chamber music pantheon. After one season at the Met Museum’s concerts as replacements for the Guarneri Qt., we canceled our subscription.

    • Simon says:

      Nothing wrong with their intonation or ensemble playing tonight in Sydney, very expressive energetic and sensitive performance of Haydn Mendelssohn and Aussie composer Nigel Westlake. And the Westlake would test any player’s intonation. Maybe you cancelled prematurely?

  • J. says:

    Isn’t she married with other member of the quartet?

  • Andrew says:

    As educators and as colleagues, the members of Pacifica are truly special among today’s top chamber groups. I wish them all the best with this transition.

  • Steve Shoemaker says:

    She is (was?) married to the cellist.

    • Milina Barry says:

      I work with the Pacifica Quartet and can confirm that, yes, Simin Ganatra and Brandon Vamos are (very happily) married.

  • Tony says:

    It’s a very difficult choice to leave a small ensemble, such as quartet, and most certainly when you’ve been in it for 22 years— it’s like that of an amicable divorce, the only reason groups announce it is to keep the false chatter at a minimum, otherwise it’s a very private matter. Inevitably they are going to get inundated with questions at every turn. Imagine separating from your spouse and getting questioned everywhere you go about the particulars. Let’s allow them to make this transition as peacefully as possible.