Patrick G. Jordan was lucky enough to grow up in Lubbock, Texas when Susan Schoenfeld taught viola there. She ignited his passion for the instrument and gave him a life-long addiction to playing chamber music. Saying “What you need to learn next, you won’t learn in Texas!” Susan packed him off to Boston. After earning degrees at the New England Conservatory and the Longy School (during which time he also developed a somewhat suspect interest in little-known composers), he played pretty much anything that came along until his journeyman’s training came to an abrupt and extremely fortuitous end in 1993 when he began playing, touring, and recording regularly with Tafelmusik.
Both his chamber music addiction and fixation with obscure music are currently fed by the Eybler Quartet, which has released seven CDs, including world premieres of Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler, Johann Baptist Vanhal, Johann Georg Heinrich Backofen, and Franz Asplmayr as well as better known works such as Joseph Haydn’s op. 33, Mozart’s basset clarinet quintet, and Beethoven’s op. 18 quartets. Richard Bratby of Gramophone wrote of the Beethoven, “The Trio of Op 18 No 1’s Scherzo is just straight-up hilarious. This set might infuriate you or it might delight you: either way, I suspect, Beethoven would have been more than happy.” The Eyblers are one of three quartets on the faculty of the Banff Centre’s summer program Evolution:Quartet.
When not busy with the viola, digging through music that nobody has thought about for 200 years, or teaching at either the Glenn Gould School or the University of Toronto, Patrick is an enthusiastic gardener, cook, and student of the culture of food. The Toronto Blue Jays also demand a fair amount of his attention.
Photo credit: Sian Richards