The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: NPR’s Bill McGlaughlin and American composer Paul Schoenfield highlight the lectures and world premiere concerts as the second set of events the mark the centennial of the Pro Arte Quartet. | November 11, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

Starting next Wednesday, Nov. 16, and culminating next Saturday, Nov. 19, the second round of centennial events for the University of Wisconsin’s Pro Arte String Quartet (below, in a photo by Rick Langer) will take  place. They offer several promising lectures and great music, including a WORLD PREMIERE. Current members of the Pro Arte Quartet are (from left) cellist Parry Karp, second violinist Suzanne Beia, violist Sally Chisholm and first violinist David Parry. 

Here is the detailed news release from the University of Wisconsin: http://www.news.wisc.edu/19993

For more information, call the UW School of Music at (608) 263-1900.

Or you can visit the Pro Arte Quartet’s web sites:

http://proartequartet.org/schedule.html

http://www.music.wisc.edu/pro-arte

You may recall the season-long celebration that marks the UW-Madison Pro Arte Quartet’s Centennial. The group has been in residence at the UW since 1940, when the group’s members were exiled by World War II from their home in Belgium while on tour in the US.

The Pro Arte Quartet is the first string quartet in history to reach 100. To mark the historic event, the quartet has commissioned two new string quartets and two new piano quintets to premiere.

In keeping with the Wisconsin Idea – that a public university should serve the public that supports it —  which is also marking its centennial in 2011, ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Here is a list, given well in advance, for you to jot down on your calendars and in your datebooks. (Two more similar sets of events and world premiere commissions are by William Bolcom and John Harbison are on tap – respectively, on March 24 and April 21.)

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 4-5:15 p.m. in Room 1351 in the Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St.: American composer Paul Schoenfield (below) will discuss his music in a public composition master class as part of the Pro Arte Quartet’s Centennial. Free.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to noon in Mills Hall, Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St. Open rehearsal by the Pro Arte Quartet of its world premiere of a commissioned work (“Three Rhapsodies for Piano Quintet” by Paul Schoenfield) of its centennial season on Saturday night, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall. Free.

Friday, Nov. 18, 4-5:30 p.m. UW School of Music Colloquium in Room 2650 in the Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St. Public lecture by Bill McGlaughlin (below), host of NPR’s “Exploring Music,” on “How Can Chamber Music Be a Conversation If Everyone Is Talking at the Same Time.” Free.

Saturday, Nov. 19, 3-5 p.m. in the Plenary Room of the Grainger Hall, 975 University Ave. Lecture on “The Artist As Distant Early Warning System” by Bill McGlaughlin (below), host of NPR’s “Exploring Music,” followed by a question-and-answer session. FREE. (Pre-concert cocktails and dinner at the University Club require reservation and are not free. Call (608) 262-2201.).

Saturday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall in the Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St. Second of the four FREE concerts with the WORLD

PREMIERES of commissioned works. The Pro Arte Quartet (below) will perform Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 4 in D Major (1949); Beethoven’s Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 (1826), which many critics consider Beethoven’s best quartet; and the world premiere of accessible and popular composer Paul Schoenfield’s “Three Rhapsodies for Piano Quintet” (2011), parts of which draw on a Henry James short story (“The Bench of Desolation”), on a doo-wop song “Get a Job” and on klezmer music.  (Pre-concert events with introductions to Paul Schoenfield and NPR’s “Exploring Music” host Bill McGlaughlin with questions from the audience at 7-7:30 p.m. There will be a free post-concert dessert reception at the nearby University Club.) 

Sunday, Nov. 20, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Brittingham Gallery III (below) of the Chazen Museum of Art, 800 University Ave. “Sunday Live From the Chazen” will feature part of the Pro Arte Quartet’s Saturday night concert, including the second performance of Paul Schoenfield’s “Three Rhapsodies for Piano Quintet.” The event will be broadcast live over Wisconsin Public Radio (WERN 88.7 FM). Call 263-2246. Free admission.

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