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


Decoda Ensemble earns ovation for “Gumboots”

Decoda, the pioneering Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, is a group of young musicians with a mission. Not only do they perform a wide range of music (including modern works) for various combinations of instruments, they also bring their enthusiasm in other ways to the communities they visit. Prior to this concert at Sunset Center on Saturday evening, February 24th, 2018, they had given public master classes to several chamber music groups of Youth Music Monterey. Read full story

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


Takacs String Quartet – Intense and Introspective

Takacs String Quartet

A select but highly gratified audience welcomed the renowned Takacs String Quartet — Edward Dusinberre and Karoly Schranz, violins; Geraldine Walther, viola; and Andras Fejer, cello — to Stanford’s Bing Hall, Friday, February 23 as part of the Stanford Live series of concerts. For music of Schubert and Beethoven the Takacs performed independently; but for the imposing, Romantic Op. 1 of Erno von Dohnanyi, his Piano Quintet in C Minor, the ensemble enjoyed the inestimable talents of Marc-Andre Hamelin, who provided an exemplary complement in a work that well embraces a musical tradition established by Schumann and Brahms. Read full story

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