Smile Politely

A week of winning quartets

February at Urbana’s Krannert Center will feature two of the up-and-coming string quartets on the domestic scene. The Zorá Quartet will perform at the February 19
Sunday salon concert and the Dover Quartet will arrive four days later to fill the Foellinger Great Hall with the sounds of the next generation of great string chamber players.

The Zorá Quartet came from the graduate program at Indiana University’s renowned school of music. Among the many great mentors they studied under was The Pacifica Quartet, the former quartet in residence at the University of Illinois. By 2015, The Zorá Quartet had claimed a number of awards, and among them was Young Concert
Artists International Audition. That award carries with a concert tour and one of those stops is the Krannert Center for a Sunday Salon concert.

Their program for February 19 is a mixture of traditional string quartet repertoire and two of the great innovators of the 20th century. It starts with Mozart’s String Quartet #15 in D Minor, K 421 and then jumps to the 20th century. Webern’s “Langsamer Satz”, is a 1905 work titled “slow movement for string quartet”. The final work on the program is Shostakovich’s Quartet #9, Op. 117 from 1964.

The Zorá Quartet has often worked with composer Caroline Shaw, but one of her very recent works, “Plan & Elevation” was commissioned for the Dover Quartet.
When the Dover Quartet performs at the Foellinger Great Hall on February 23 that special work will be on the program. Rounding out the program on the 23rd will be Mozart’s String Quartet #23 and Smetana’s Quartet #1, “From My Life”.

Ms. Shaw is a Pulitzer Prize winner and could have her pick of quartets for her work, but the proven quality of these two rising stars in the string quartet circuit seem to have just the sound she wants. With only one CD between them, it is fitting that they have used the new world of artistic distribution: youtube. Graze each quartet online and you get youtube options that will give you generous samplings of both ensembles’ repertoire.

  Please note that the February 19 Sunday Salon concert  begins at 3 PM and the February 23 concert begins at 7:30PM. For further information follow the links to, or call the Krannert box office at 217-333-6280.

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