Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Colorado Quartet, Bard Center Fellows and artists in residence at Bard College, will perform in concert on Sunday, March 14, 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 George Tsontakis’s String Quartet No. 3, "Coraggio"; Brahms’s String Quartet, Op. 51, No. 1 in C Minor; and Bartók's String Quartet No. 3.

Julie Rosenfeld, quartet violinist, notes, "This semester the Colorado Quartet's seminar at Bard covers the topic of early German Romantic chamber music. Thus we will play Brahms's first great published quartet as an example of that era. Next year the quartet has been asked to perform the six complete Bartók quartets in Cincinnati, and to prepare for that monumental task we are sprinkling these great pieces through our repertoire this season. We are offering Quartet No. 3, Bartòk's most terse and astringent example, as a foil to the Tsontakis quartet, which is broadly noble and heroic." She adds, "Happily, George Tsontakis wrote his Quartet No. 3, ‘Coraggio,’ for us in 1988, and we are taking it up again this year, in light of our collegial relationship with him while he is at Bard."

"It will be exciting for me to hear what the Colorado does with ‘Coraggio’—in terms of their interpretation and intensity—as it is more than 15 years since I heard their first performances of it, which I remember as vital and insightful," says Tsontakis, visiting professor of music at Bard. "Since then, the Colorado Quartet has grown in stature and assuredness. The notion that we are all colleagues at Bard this year makes the occasion even more special."

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 quartet and other chamber music coaching.

Other upcoming music programs presented by The Bard Center include the centennial celebration of composer Nikos Skalkottas on Wednesday, March 17, at 8:00 p.m., which will feature the composer's granddaughter, violinist Eva Lindal; cellist Robert Martin; and pianist Idith Meshulam. "Da Capo Celebrates Bard," on Wednesday, April 21, at 8:00 p.m., which will feature the Da Capo Quartet performing works by Bard faculty and alumni/ae, including the world premiere of a new quintet written for Da Capo by Harold Farberman. The jazz trio Jackalope will perform on Saturday, April 24, at 8:00 p.m. All concerts are held in Olin Hall and are free and open to the public.

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.

About the Artists:

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 ensemble performed all 16 quartets of Beethoven in Berlin within one week, making it the first all-female quartet to complete 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, on the FX television channel, Penn and Teller’s Sin City Spectacular. 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 younger composers. The group 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.

Composer George Tsontakis studied composition with Roger Sessions at Juilliard and conducting with Jorge Mester. He is the recipient of two Kennedy Center Awards, for String Quartet No. 4 and Perpetual Angelus, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ award for lifetime achievement. His music has been recorded on the Hyperion, New World, CRI, Koch, and Opus One labels; his works have been commissioned and performed by the American, Blair, Colorado, and Emerson string quartets; New York Virtuoso Singers; Aspen Wind Quintet; Orpheus; flutist Ransom Wilson; violinist Glenn Dicterow; and many other orchestras, ensembles, and musicians. He is a faculty member of the Aspen Music School and a founding director of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble.

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This event was last updated on 03-15-2004