courtesy of the Friction Quartet
Regular readers probably know by now that the members of the Friction Quartet are currently Artists-in-Residence in the Old First Concerts (O1C) series. As pictured above in left-to-right order, the performers are violinist Kevin Rogers, cellist Doug Machiz, violist Taija Warbelow, and violinist Otis Harriel. Those who have attended past performances should also know that leadership is shared between Rogers and Harriel.
Exactly four weeks from today Friction will give its next O1C concert. The featured work on the program will be the United States premiere of “The Still Dancers” by Peter Hellawell, currently Professor of Composition at the Queen’s University of Belfast. Last year at the Center for New Music, Friction played Hellawell’s “Driftwood On Sand;” and that performance was captured on video:
YouTube video of Friction Quartet playing "Driftwood On Sand"
The program will also include Bedřich Smetana’s second string quartet in D minor. The last years of Smetana’s life were difficult. He had written his autobiographical first quartet in E minor in 1876, giving it the title “From My Life.” While most of the four-movement score recalled better times, the final movement is interrupted by a piercing high E that depicts the onset of his deafness. By the winter of 1882–1883, he was suffering from depression, insomnia, and hallucinations. He wrote the second quartet in defiance of orders from his doctor to refrain from all musical activity. He would die at the Kateřinky Lunatic Asylum in Prague on May 12, 1884 with cause of death registered as senile dementia.
The remainder of the program has not yet been announced. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 21. O1C performances take place at the Old First Presbyterian Church, which is located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Boulevard. General admission will be $25 with discounted rates of $20 for seniors and $5 for full-time students showing valid identification. Children aged twelve and under will still be admitted for free. In addition there is a $2 discount for tickets purchased online in advance from the event page for this concert on the Old First Concerts Web site. There is also a discount available for those parking at the Old First Parking Garage at 1725 Sacramento Street, just up the street for the church.