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 Sunday, October 27, at 3:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. The performance, presented by The Bard Center, is free and open to the public.

The program will include Haydn's "Quinten" Quartet, Joan Tower's In Memory, and Schubert's Quartet in D Minor, "Death and the Maiden." "The Colorado Quartet is very pleased to present Joan Tower's second string quartet, In Memory, at Bard College," says Julie Rosenfeld, Quartet violinist. "This is a major work from a major composer, who just happens to our colleague here at Bard. The Tokyo Quartet premiered the piece this past February, and we have just played it, to great acclaim, at the Biennial for Contemporary Music in Tel Aviv, Israel. Surrounding it are two towering masterpieces of the quartet repertoire by Haydn and Schubert."

In Memory is a 14-minute, one-movement piece about death and loss, and was composed by Tower, Bard's Asher B. Edelman Professor of Music, in memory of one of her friends, Margaret Creal Shafer, the former artistic director of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle. About two months after Shafer died, the September 11 tragedy occurred and expanded the composer's 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. "This amplified feeling of so much pain in the world played a major role in increasing the intensity of the music," she says.

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.

The fall concert series, presented by The Bard Center, will continue on Sunday, November 10, with an afternoon of chamber music with cellist Robert Martin, pianist Melvin Chen, and violinist Erica Kiesewetter. The performance, free and open to the public, will begin in Olin Hall at 3:00 p.m.

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 Bard College String Quartet Institute, a two-week summer institute for high school students, and the Soundfest Chamber Music Festival and Quartet Institute, a two-week festival held each June in Falmouth, Massachusetts, that celebrated its 11th anniversary in 2002.

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This event was last updated on 09-27-2002