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HUDSON VALLEY CHAMBER MUSIC CIRCLE JUNE 29 CONCERT AT BARD COLLEGE FEATURES THE TOKYO QUARTET Program includes the Hudson Valley premiere of a Joan Tower work dedicated to the memory of Margaret Creal Shafer, former artistic director of the HVCMC

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.--The final concert of the 2002 Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle (HVCMC) series at Bard College will feature a performance by the world-renowned Tokyo Quartet on Saturday, June 29. The concert, presented by The Bard Center, will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall.

The program includes Janácek's String Quartet No. 1 ("Kreutzer Sonata"); Smetana's String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, "From My Life"; and the Hudson Valley premiere of Bard music professor Joan Tower's string quartet "In Memory," which was commissioned by the Tokyo Quartet. The 13-minute, one-movement piece is about death and loss, and was composed in memory of one of the composer's old friends, Margaret Creal Shafer, the former artistic director of the HVCMC. About two months after Shafer died, the September 11 tragedy occurred and increased the specific loss to include the large number of people from around the world that lost their lives in the World Trade Center, according to Tower. She explains that, "This amplified feeling of so much pain in the world played a major role in increasing the intensity of the music. I am honored to have written this piece now for the Tokyo Quartet."

Acclaimed for a remarkable cohesiveness that melds passionate playing with a rich, succulent tone, the Tokyo String Quartet has captivated audiences and critics alike since it was founded more than 30 years ago. Regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world, the quartet consists of violist Kazuhide Isomura, a founding member of the group; second violinist Kikuei Ikeda, who joined the ensemble in 1974; first violinist Martin Beaver, a founding member of the Toronto String Quartet and Triskelion; and Clive Greensmith, formerly principal cellist of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The members of the quartet have served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music since 1976 as quartet-in-residence. They perform on "The Paganini Quartet," a group of renowned Stradivarius instruments named for legendary virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, who acquired and played them during the 19th century.

The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle, celebrating its 52nd season this year, was founded by Helen Huntington Hull and two friends from Staatsburg, New York. They enlisted the help of violinist Emil Hauser, a member of the Bard College faculty and original first violinist of the Budapest Quartet, to invite performing artists for concerts at the Mills and Vanderbilt Mansions. In 1979, the concert series began its association with Bard College. The HVCMC remains an association of chamber music lovers and a venue that attracts many of the world's preeminent chamber music artists.

These performances are made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. A subscription to the three-concert series is $60; individual tickets, $25; senior citizens, $15; and students, $5. For further information, call 845-340-0044.

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[Note to editors?Photographs are available, in electronic form, by request. Call 845-758-7512 or e-mail for information.]

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This event was last updated on 06-19-2002