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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Free String Quartet Concert @ Utah Symphony's DVMF (Park City: July 31)


The concert features two semi-professional quartets on Saturday, July 31
playing world premieres by two emerging composers

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Symphony presents a free concert featuring two string quartets at St. Luke’s Church in Park City, UT on Saturday, July 31 at 1:00 pm. The participating quartets, Élan Quartet and Arneis Quartet are currently taking part in the Utah Symphony’s three-week Emerging Quartets and Composers intensive training program.

The Emerging Quartets and Composers program consists of demanding rehearsals and masterclasses with professional coaching by the renowned Muir Quartet and composer Joan Tower, a Pulitzer prize-winner. During this time, the two semi-professional quartets work on classical repertoire as well as premieres of new music by young composers Benjamin Pesetsky and Erica Ball, who also participate in the program.
During the performance, both quartets will perform a work from the standard string quartet repertoire, and then each will premiere a new work by one of the program’s young composers. The Élan Quartet will premiere Benjamin Pesetsky’s “Representations and Interpretation,” and the Arneis Quartet will premiere Erica Ball’s “w(e)aving.”

Élan Quartet, was formed in January of 2010 and is made up of violinists Margaret Cerjan, Naomi Culp, violist Sharon Tenhundfeld, and cellist Philip Boulanger. The Quartet met as members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and formed after performing orchestrally with one another. Each member of the quartet is a native to a different location in the United States and each has diverse musical personalities. Although a newly formed quartet, Élan is eager to gain experience performing standard repertoire as well as newly commissioned works. The Élan Quartet is enthusiastic about community outreach and plans to perform many programs in their Chicago community this Spring 2010.

The Arneis Quartet was formed in 2007 at Boston University under the tutelage of the Muir String Quartet. It is composed of violinists Heather Braun and Rose Drucker, violist Dan Dona, and cellist Agnes Kim. The Arneis Quartet has been in residence at the Banff Centre in Canada, and has attended the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City, culminating in a performance at Lincoln Center. The quartet serves as the core of the Arneis Ensemble, broadening its repertoire to include pieces for various combinations of strings, winds, piano and voice. The members of the ensemble are committed to outreach and education and are on the faculties of Boston University, the Dana Hall School of Music, Wellesley Public Schools, and the Chestnut Hill School.

Benjamin Pesetsky (b. 1989) has had works performed in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Paris by the Da Capo Chamber Players, GBYSO, Newton’s New Philharmonia Orchestra, cellist Emmanuel Feldman, and oboist Mary Lynch. In 2008 and 2009 he attended the European American Musical Alliance where a choral piece, Of Cloudless Climes and Starry Skies, was performed in the Salle Cortot, and where he studied with Philip Lasser and Michel Merlet. He began his composition studies with Howard Frazin and is currently both a philosophy student at Bard College and a student at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where his teachers are Joan Tower, John Halle and George Tsontakis.

Erica J. Ball is a multi-talented musician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a composer her works have been played by numerous ensembles including The Walden Players, Bard College Orchestra, Da Capo Chamber Players, Colorado Quartet, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. As a violinist and pianist Ms. Ball has performed with many ensembles including the Greenwood Orchestra, Bard College Orchestra, Contemporary Ensemble, and Chamber Ensembles, and as the violin/piano half of the new music duo hotAIRtightSTRINGS. This summer Ms. Ball’s newly commissioned work for solo piano will be premiered in August by Blair McMillen at The Stone in New York City. In May 2011 her new orchestral work, grey mo(u)rning doves, will be premiered at the Graduation Commencement Concert by the American Symphony Orchestra.

Joan Tower, hailed as “one of the most successful woman composers of all time” in The New Yorker magazine, was the first woman to receive the Grawemeyer Award in Composition in 1990. She was inducted in 1998 into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters, and into the Academy of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University in the fall of 2004.

She was the first composer chosen for the ambitious new Ford Made in America commissioning program, a collaboration of the League of American Orchestras (at that time, the American Symphony Orchestra League) and Meet the Composer. In October 2005, the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra presented the world premiere of Tower's 15-minute orchestral piece Made in America. The work went on to performances in every state in the Union during the 2005-07 seasons.

The Muir String Quartet is acknowledged as one of the world's most powerful and insightful ensembles, and is featured at major chamber music series throughout North America and Europe. The Muir String Quartet first performed in 1980 to rave reviews, won the 1981 Naumburg Chamber Music Award and 1980 Evian International String Quartet Competition, and was featured on the acclaimed PBS broadcast, In Performance at the White House. The Muir String Quartet has premiered works by esteemed American composers Lucas Foss (String Quartet #4), Joan Tower (Night Fields), and Ezra Laderman (String Quartet #9).


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