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Oberlin Grads Win Grammys in Chamber Music and Jazz

Feb. 10, 2009

Lillie Chilen ’08 & Charlotte Landrum

Pacifica Quartet
The Pacifica Quartet
(L-R): Cellist Brandon Vamos, violinist Simin Ganatra ’95, violist Masumi Per Rostad, and violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson ’95
Oberlin alumni Sibbi Bernhardsson ’95, Simin Ganatra ’95, and Jason Jackson ’93 are now members of an elite rank of performers: Grammy Award-winners. All three won awards for their playing at the February 8, 2009 ceremony, telecast throughout the U.S. The Grammy Awards are presented yearly by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievements in the music industry.

The Pacifica String Quartet, including violinists Sibbi Bernhardsson and Simin Ganatra, took home its first Grammy in the category of Best Chamber Music Performance for a Naxos recording of Elliott Carter’s String Quartets Nos. 1 and 5.

The quartet has received accolades for its live performances of Carter’s complete string quartets around the country and the world. The New York Times wrote glowingly of the ensemble’s “astounding performances,” and the Chicago Tribune praised their “astonishing talent, energy and dedication.” This recording also earned producer Judith Sherman a nomination for Classical Producer of the Year. The Pacifica’s recording of the complete Mendelssohn quartets was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 for Best Engineered Classical Album. More information on the quartet is available at

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, with whom trombonist Jason Jackson has performed for the past 11 years, won in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category for its recording Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard, on the Planet Arts label.

Focused on charts by the band’s late founder Thad Jones, the album also includes conductor/arranger Jim McNeely’s Las Cucarachas Entran, Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing, and an arrangement of St. Louis Blues by Bob Brookmeyer, which was also nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement. Jones also played on the group’s 2004 Grammy-winning release The Way: Music of Slide Hampton and the Grammy-nominated albums Up From the Skies: Music of Jim McNeely and Can I Persuade You. He performs with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra every Monday night at the Village Vanguard, located at 178 Seventh Avenue South in New York City’s Greenwich Village. More information is available at

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