Make Music Winter, Thursday, Dec. 21

JACK Plays Haas in the Dark | JACK Quartet

Years of collaboration with composer Georg Friedrich Haas on his unique harmonic language, particularly on the performance of his third quartet performed in utter darkness, have resulted in his “String Quartet No. 9,” also performed in complete blackout. JACK Quartet returns to National Sawdust on the winter solstice (and longest night of the year) to give the US premiere of this mystical exploration of darkness.

In a very special partnership with JACK Quartet and National Sawdust, we invite you to take part in a Master Class led by JACK at the venue from 2-3PM, preceding their performance. Participants in the Master Class will learn firsthand about the microtonal tuning and harmonic color that are integral to the composition and will have the chance to play a movement along with JACK in simulated darkness. All participants will also be given a discount code to purchase specially priced tickets for the 7:00 PM performance!

To take part in the Master Class, please be among the first fifty people to send an email with the subject line “I Know JACK” to  You will receive your confirmation directly from National Sawdust, located at 80 N 6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

This program is produced in partnership with JACK Quartet and National Sawdust.

The Master Class takes place from 2:00 to 3:00 PM at National Sawdust, 80 N 6th Street, Brooklyn. Be sure to bring your instrument with you if you plan to play an active role.

To participate or attend the Master Class, be among the first fifty people to email us at Include “I Know JACK” in the subject line and your full name and your instrument (if any) in the body of your email. You will receive a confirmation from National Sawdust to attend the Master Class and a discount code to purchase a specially priced ticket for the 7:00 PM performance of “String Quartet No. 9”. (Limit of two discounted tickets per email.)


Deemed “superheroes of the new music world” (Boston Globe), the JACK Quartet is “the go-to quartet for contemporary music, tying impeccable musicianship to intellectual ferocity and a take-no-prisoners sense of commitment.” (Washington Post) “They are a musical vehicle of choice to the next great composers who walk among us.” (Toronto Star)

The recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, New Music USA’s Trailblazer Award, and the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, JACK has performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, Wigmore Hall (United Kingdom), Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Netherlands), IRCAM (France), Kölner Philharmonie (Germany), the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Suntory Hall (Japan), Bali Arts Festival (Indonesia), Festival Internacional Cervatino (Mexico), and Teatro Colón (Argentina).

Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, JACK is focused on new work, leading them to collaborate with composers John Luther Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Simon Steen-Andersen, Caroline Shaw, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Reich, Matthias Pintscher, and John Zorn. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Derek Bermel, Cenk Ergün, Roger Reynolds, Toby Twining, and Georg Friedrich Haas.


National Sawdust’s mission is to build new audiences for classical and new music by providing outstanding resources and programming support to both emerging and established artists and composers. National Sawdust’s programming is centered on discovery within music, introducing audiences to new artists and styles, and introducing artists to new audiences. National Sawdust also provides artists with the space, time, and resources they need to create new work. With adjoining restaurant Rider, from James Beard award-winning chef Patrick Connolly, National Sawdust embraces the blending of cultural and culinary experience. The National Sawdust audio experience was designed by Arup Acoustics, and its architectural designer is Bureau V.

Illustration by Kyle Lambert of Callout Creative