Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.?The Colorado Quartet, artists in residence at Bard College, will perform in concert on Saturday, July 20, at 8:00 p.m., in Olin Hall. The program will include quartets by Mozart (K. 499), Shostakovich (No. 4), and Beethoven (Opus 132). The performance, presented by The Bard Center, is free and open to the public.

The Colorado Quartet will perform this concert of great masterworks of the string quartet literature in conjunction with the inaugural summer session of the Bard College String Quartet Institute. The Institute, designed for high school string students, is under the direction of the quartet, and will be held on the campus from July 17 to 27. The students of the Institute will also present their own concert at Bard, at a date and time to be announced.

"This past March at Bard we performed Bartók?s Sixth String Quartet. Interestingly, Dmitri Shostakovich heard a performance of this piece by the Juilliard String Quartet in 1948 and was immediately drawn to write a string quartet of his own with folk influences. Thus was born the Fourth Quartet, Opus 83," says violinist Julie Rosenfeld. "Unfortunately, its overtly ?Jewish? themes did not sit well with Stalin and Marshal Zhdanov, and the piece was withheld from publication until after Stalin?s death in 1953. It is a wonderful example of Shostakovich using the quartet medium to convey his innermost thoughts."

Rosenfeld continues, "Beethoven?s monumental Quartet in A minor, Opus 132, is also the product of that composer?s deepest feelings. Written during a period of great poverty and stress in the composer?s life, its centerpiece is the third movement, the famous Heiliger Dankgesang, in which Beethoven gives thanks to God for allowing him to recover from a serious illness. Slow, hymnlike passages alternate with more vigorous sections titled "Neue Kraft fühlend" ("Feeling new strength") in this heartfelt, 17-minute movement, which is one of the most spiritual and morally uplifting pieces ever written."

The quartet's residency at the College enables Bard students to study privately with the group's individual members?Rosenfeld and Deborah Redding, violins; Marka Gustavsson, viola; and Diane Chaplin, cello?as well as with the ensemble as a whole for both quartet and other chamber music coaching.

This concert is made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. For further information about the program, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.


At the forefront of the international music scene since winning both the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and first prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 1983, the Colorado Quartet enjoys a reputation for combining musical integrity, impassioned playing, and lyrical finesse. Currently based in the New York City area, the Colorado Quartet appears regularly in major halls around the globe; most recently, the quartet performed all 16 quartets of Beethoven in Berlin within one week, making it the first all-female quartet to conquer this Herculean task in western Europe. Highlights of past years include tours of more than 20 countries and regular appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The quartet plays often in New York, appearing at the Mostly Mozart Festival?where it performed 20 Haydn quartets over a two-year period?as well as in concerts in the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 1995, the Colorado Quartet celebrated the 50th anniversary of Béla Bartók?s death by giving Philadelphia its first complete performance of the Bartók string quartets.

The quartet has been featured on radio and television worldwide. Recent appearances in the United States include National Public Radio?s St. Paul Sunday and "Penn and Teller?s Sin City Spectacular," seen on the FX television channel. The ensemble?s critically acclaimed CDs include an album of contemporary compositions on Albany Records and, on Parnassus Records, a CD of Brahms's quartets, and another of Schubert?s "Death and the Maiden" and the Mendelssohn F-minor Quartet, which received the 2001 CMA/WQXR Record Award. A recording titled Chamber Music of Henry Cowell, on the Mode label, appeared on the 1999 Top Five list in Gramophone magazine.

The Colorado Quartet is equally at home performing standard literature and newer works. It has premiered compositions by such leading composers as Ezra Laderman, Joan Tower, and Karel Husa, as well as composers of the younger generation. The quartet has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Lila Wallace?Reader?s Digest Foundation.

The members of the Colorado Quartet are known as inspiring and well-respected teachers. They have held residencies at the Oberlin College Conservatory, Philadelphia?s New School of Music, and the Banff Centre in Canada. They have also given master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Indiana University, and Cleveland Institute of Music. Quartet members are founders and artistic directors of the Soundfest Chamber Music Festival and Quartet Institute, a two-week festival held each June in Falmouth, Massachusetts; the festival celebrates its 11th anniversary in 2002.

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This event was last updated on 06-10-2002