The Quartet arrived in Canton, NY on Sunday night after a long journey from SF with stops in Newark and Syracuse, culminating in a two and a half hour drive to our destination. We checked into our B&B accommodations, which are really lovely. On Monday we spent the day at The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, NY working with a number of that schools excellent string students in master classes, and performing an evening concert that included Kodaly’s Second String Quartet and Beethoven’s imposing Op.127. The response was very warm and gratifying.
Yesterday, 9/25 (salute to Dmitri Shostakovich’s 106th birthday!) we began our activities at St. Lawrence University. It’s always like coming home when we are here, as we made the first visit here in 1984! (We were, of course, VERY young then). This week we have made many wonderful class visits: comparing string quartets by Mozart, Schubert, Kodaly and Shostakovich to contemporaneous art works in Art History classes, performing music which might have been heard by the characters of Jane Austen’s novels for a class on that author, and exploring the concept of “home” for a Freshman Year Program class. We’ve also been preparing for our concert tomorrow which features a world premiere of a new piece composed for us by In-Sil Yoo, St. Lawrence composition faculty. It is a beautiful reflection on a traditional Korean song, “Bird Bird Bluebird”. We’ll also perform with the fine chamber choir the Laurentian Singers under the direction of their inspired conductor Barry Torres two selections from our recent release, “With Strings Attached”. These young singers are sounding magnificent on Michael Gandolfi’s “Winter Light” and one of the pieces, “Shoene Nacht” from Brahm’s Op. 92
In addition to those two works, we’ll be performing Mozart’s Quartet in F, K.590 and Beethoven’s Quartet Op.130 with the Grosse Fuge at 8pm in Gulick Theater on the St. Lawrence campus.