Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mid-Month will See Two String Quartet Recitals on Opposite Sides of Town

Serious conflicts during the middle of the week do not occur often. However, two different string quartets will be performing at overlapping times on Wednesday, March 15. Furthermore, both will be presenting new music, although there will be more new music performed at one rather than the other.

At the Center for New Music (C4NM), Dan Becker will curate a return visit by the Friction Quartet of violinists Otis Harriel and Kevin Rogers, violist Taija Warbelow, and cellist Doug Machiz. The title of the program will be “Friction” plays with “Common Sense.” The latter quote refers to the eight members of the bi-coastal Common Sense Composers’ Collective: Marc Mellits, Melissa Hui, Belinda Reynolds, Carolyn Yarnell, John Halle, Randy Woolf, Ed Harsh, and Becker himself. All eight of these composers were at Banff in 2010. Each completed a string quartet, and all eight were performed in a single recital program shared by the Afiara quartet and the Cecilia Quartet. Friction is now about to record all eight of these quartets at Skywalker Sound. Before beginning that task, the group will give a one-time-only performance of the complete cycle.

This performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15. C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a Vendini event page. Ticket holders will also be invited to show up early for a celebratory wine reception, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.

That evening will also see the fifth concert in the annual Morrison Artists Series presented by the College of Liberal and Creative Arts at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The performing ensemble will be the Daedalus Quartet, consisting of violinists Min-Young Kim and Matilda Kaul, violist Jessica Thompson, and cellist Thomas Kraines. This group records on Bridge Records and has its own reputation for the adventurous exploration of contemporary music. The new music on this program will be the world premiere of Louis Karchin’s first string quartet. This will mark the initiation of a new commissioning project by the Morrison Artists Series to ensure a regular flow of new music into the annual programming of the chamber music series. The program will begin with Leoš Janáček’s first string quartet, which was inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata, and conclude with Johannes Brahms’ Opus 67 (third) string quartet in B-flat major.

This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, in the McKenna Theatre in the Creative Arts Building at SFSU, a short walk from the SFSU Muni stop at the corner of 19th Avenue and Holloway Avenue. Tickets are free but advance registration is highly desirable. Reservations may be made through the event page for this concert. As usual, there will be a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. given by Richard Festinger, Artistic Director of the Morrison Artists Series; and the four musicians will give a collective Master Class at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 16. This two-hour session will take place in Knuth Hall, also in the Creative Arts Building, and will be open to the general public at no charge and with no requirements for tickets.

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