The Mary Baldwin University Music Department announces the next Carl Broman Concert, which will feature the award-winning Ariel Quartet at 8 p.m. on March 23 in Francis Auditorium on the Mary Baldwin University campus.
Characterized by youth, brilliant playing, and soulful interpretations, the Ariel Quartet has quickly earned a glowing international reputation. Its members have been playing together ever since they formed 16 years ago as students in Israel. They continue to astonish audiences with their performances of complete works by memory, and they perform widely in Europe, North America, and Israel, including two record-setting Beethoven cycles last season (performed before all the members of the quartet turned 30).
The quartet has won a number of international prizes, including the Grand Prize at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Recently, they were honored with the Cleveland Quartet Award, a prestigious award which recognizes and promotes a rising young string quartet whose artistry demonstrates that it is in the process of establishing a major career. The quartet serves as the faculty quartet-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where they direct the chamber music program and perform their own annual series of concerts.
“It is always something special when we are able to bring a string quartet to the Broman series,” says Lise Keiter, chair of the Music Department at Mary Baldwin. “And we are especially pleased to feature the Ariel Quartet, considered one of the most exciting young quartets today.”
One of the quartet’s many impressive achievements has been to perform all 17 of Beethoven’s string quartets over a period of only a few months. They will treat the Staunton audience to one of these works, opening their program with Beethoven’s Quartet in A Major, op. 18, no. 5, a delightful work that shows influence of Mozart. They will continue with the Quartet No. 5 of Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. After a recent performance of this piece, a reviewer from The News-Gazette noted, “… it was technically and emotionally a Bartok performance at the highest level. No wonder the Ariels have won a Hungarian prize for their playing of Bartok.” They will conclude the evening with the beautiful Quartet in F Major of Ravel, a remarkable work which shows many aspects of Ravel’s unique style: the influence of Impressionism, along with the clear and transparent textures of Neoclassicism, and even an interest the music of the Far East.
Tickets for the Ariel Quartet may be purchased at the door and are $25 for the general public, $20 for seniors, and $5 for students (free to Mary Baldwin students). For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit Music at Mary Baldwin.