Recital 2: Atlantic String Quartet
The NSO welcomes The Atlantic String Quartet for their second recital in the 2020 season.
JOIN US EARLY FOR A WHOLE EVENING OF FUN
Unwind with a pre-show cocktail! This week’s feature is the Vienna Soother. Let our friends at Piatto show you how to channel your inner mixologist here!
About Atlantic String Quartet: Formed in 1985, the Atlantic String Quartet (ASQ) is a versatile and professional chamber ensemble comprised of the principal string players of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (NSO): Heather Kao, first violin; Nancy Case-Oates, second violin; Kate Read, viola; and Theo Weber, cello. In addition to their work with the full orchestra and NSO Sinfonia, the quartet produces its own Recital Series each season, presenting a broad selection of works from the rich quartet and small ensemble repertoires. The ASQ is an integral part of the creative life of its community and is known for its versatility and ability to work with music and musicians from all styles and genres. Having shared the stage with such international classical musicians as Anton Kuerti, André Laplante, and Martin Beaver, and local artists such as jazz artist Duane Andrews and renowned songwriter Ron Hynes, the members of the quartet also teach privately, and coach and conduct other ensembles. In 2014, the ASQ was offered a placement at the prestigious St. Lawrence String Quartet Music Seminar in Stanford, CA. In 2020 the quartet released its first self-titled debut album featuring works by Arthur Bliss and Maurice Ravel.
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) was born in Bohemia, then part of the Austrian Empire, and died in Prague. A gifted instrumentalist and prolific composer, he is well-known for his New World Symphony. His early years were marked by poverty and a lack of recognition for his music. This changed when he submitted over a dozen works for the Austrian State Prize for Composition in 1875. He didn’t win the prize that year, but he attracted the attention of jurist Johannes Brahms who was mightily impressed by Dvorak’s talent. Brahms connected him with influential publisher Simrock who published Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances in 1878, thus leading to international acclaim. Brahms became a lifelong friend and champion of his chamber music.
Dvorak’s Terzetto in C, op. 74 was composed in just one week in January, 1887. This lesser known work for two violins and viola reflects Dvorak’s integration of Bohemian folk music and Romantic style, with just a few quirks.
Celebrated Canadian pianist and composer Alice Ping Yee Ho was born in Hong Kong. Her compositions in all instrumental and vocal genres are performed world-wide. Alice’s String Quartet No. 2 (2003) was inspired by an opera project based on the life of Edgar Allan Poe. She writes, “My research into this tragic character led to a growing compassion for artists who suffered for their sanity. The theme of my String Quartet is essentially based on the idea of two opposing forces about “Dream” and “Reality”.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) composed his String Quartet #16 in F major, Opus 135 in 1726. This was his last major work in a year marked by severe illness. Compared to his previous complex and “bewildering” quartets, numbers 12 to 15, his last work seems to be quite conventional. Yet, instead of a nostalgic return to an earlier time, this opus can be considered a lifelong compilation of Beethoven’s styles within a standard classical form.