Chamber Music Monterey Bay — Escher String Quartet

Escher String Quartet

We were an appreciative audience. I was concerned the damp, drippy weather might keep some from attending, but many still ventured out to enjoy an evening of excellent music performed by outstanding musicians. So, on Saturday, March 7, 2020 Sunset Center opened its doors and we settled into our seats to hear the Escher String Quartet. I recommend that you find a chance to see and hear them play in the future. The Escher String Quartet members are currently Adam Barnett-Hart, violin, Brendan Speltz, violin, Pierre Lapointe, viola, and Brook Speltz, cello. Each of these musicians performs as soloist, as chamber musicians, and teaches or mentors aspiring string players. We were introduced to a few of the young people they worked with earlier in the day. I found myself smiling in approval that Chamber Music will have such a bright future.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Romantic Era, String quartet

Carmel Music Society — Modigliani String Quartet

When the members of the Modigliani String Quartet took their final bows yesterday afternoon at Sunset Center in Carmel, we knew that we had just heard quartet playing on the highest and most artistic level. It simply doesn’t get any better than this. Violinists Amaury Coeytaux and Loic Rio, violist P. Laurent Marfang and cellist François Kieffer are celebrating their 15th anniversary playing together, and their their close association has produced such a tight knit ensemble that the music they perform flows seamlessly and effortlessly. This is not to imply that their playing was glib. Quite to the contrary, their playing was full of passion and artistic commitment to the works they perform, and when all the elements came together, as they did yesterday afternoon, it produces performances seemingly inevitable in their purity and technical mastery.

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Archived in these categories: Classical Era, Romantic Era, String quartet

Berkeley Symphony presents Del Sol String Quartet at Piedmont Center for the Arts

What a delightful musical treat to hear the incredible Del Sol String Quartet perform with great depth and virtuosity six works, two by friends, neighbors, colleagues and mentors: Lou Harrison (1917-2003) and Ben Johnston (1926). Members of the stellar Del Sol String Quartet are Ben Kreith (violin I), recent member Sam Weiser (violin II), Charlton Lee (viola), and Kathryn Bates (cello), created a “California Flow” program. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, String quartet

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music 2018 — “In the Blue Room with the Kronos Quartet”

“In The Blue Room with the Kronos Quartet”

This annual tradition has really gained quite the following as part of the Cabrillo Festival. David Harrington, the first violinist and typically the speaker for the group, guessed that it was back in 1978 when they first collaborated with the festival. The San Francisco based group has always maintained strong political views and this concert was no different. They opened with a short piece by Egyptian composer, Islam Chipsy. Zaghlala, loosely translated as meaning blurred vision cause by strong light in the eyes, was full of glissandos and fast passages. Perhaps this choice of piece was a nod to the song and dance man in charge at the moment distracting from the real issues at hand. Friend of the festival, Missy Mazzoli, was up next with a piece named ‘Harp and Altar’ for string quartet and recorded sound. The recording began as low vocal intonations and grew stronger into full words, which began to overpower the sound of the quartet and eventually overtook them in prominence. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Chamber music, String quartet

Ensō Quartet performs for Chamber Music Monterey Bay

Photo by Erica Horn

Passionate enthusiasm and youthful vitality added a heightened dimension to Chamber Music Monterey Bay’s presentation of the Ensō String Quartet at Sunset Center last night. The four young players, violinists Susie Park & Ken Hamao, violist Melissa Reardon and cellist Richard Belcher, are seasoned masters of their craft and treated us last night to some of the finest quartet playing I have ever heard. It was a remarkable combination of style, refinement and artistry in equally generous amounts. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Chamber music, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Classical Era, Romantic Era, String quartet