The Well-Tempered Ear

Fine Arts Quartet has new violist, should come play in Madison; Lawrence University Chamber Players perform today | October 11, 2009

By Jacob Stockinger

Today is Sunday. That usually means I listen to and sometimes attend “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen,” which runs 12:30-2 p.m. and is broadcast live over Wisconsin Public Radio (WERN 88.7 FM in the Madison area.) This Sunday, the performers are the Lawrence Chamber Players from Lawrence University — The Ear’s undergraduate aama mater — in Appleton, Wis.

The unusual program will feature Mozart’s Duo for Violin and Viola in G major; James Chaudoir’s Quartet for Oboe and
Strings, and Georges Onslow’s Quintet in A minor.

The Lawrence Chamber Players are the faculty string ensemble for the Lawrence University
Conservatory of Music. The players at this performance will include Wen-Lei Gu and Samantha George on violin, Matthew Michelic on viola, Howard Niblock on Oboe, Mark Urness on contrabass and Janet
Anthony on violincello.

But “Sunday Afternoon Live” is also a chance to pass along some news:

The Fine Arts Quartet, the world-class artists-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has a new violist.

He is Nicolo Eugelmi, a graduate of Julliard and the former principal violist of the Montreal Symphony and the Canadian Opera Orchestra. He joined the Fine Arts this past July. (In the photo below at right, the members are, form left: Violinist Ralph Evans, violinist Efim Boico, cellist Wolfgang Laufer and the new violist Nicolo Eugelmi.) FineArts

I wish I would have a chance to hear the new Fine Arts this season in Madison.

But for whatever reason they will not appear, as they usually do – often twice a season — on the series “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen.”

The Fine Arts, which was founded in 1946 and constantly tours the world, has made many fine recordings (their latest label is Naxos for which they have recorded works by Bruckner, Glazunov and Mendelssohn among others). When they come to Madison, they always play to a full house and the performances are invariably first-rate.

The last time I saw the quartet, last season, it had a temporary violist, Chauncey Patterson, filing in for Uri Gandelsman, who left to take a full-time teaching job in Michigan

On Oct. 4, the Fine Arts opened its season with a performance of both string quartets by Camille Saint-Saens and the String Quartet No. 7 by Dmitri Shostakovich.

The performances – I’m guessing playing both the Saint-Saens quartet was a warm up for recording them — got a pretty favorable review from the Third Coast Digest critic, and former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel critic, Tom Strini.

Here’s a link to the review:

And here’s a link to the Fine Arts, with its impressive list of tour concerts and its current season of Milwaukee appearances (the next concert is Nov. 15 and will feature wo works by Bruckner and the String Quintet No. 2 by Mendelssohn.:

Would you like to hear the Fine Arts Quartet in Madison?

I sure would. They are too good, and too much a neighbor, not to be heard in this city of so many chamber music fans.

I hope that either they contact the “Sunday Afternoon Live” folks at Wisconsin Public Radio or else WPR contacts them.

Have you heard the Fine Arts in Madison, either in person or on the radio?

What did you think?

Would you like to hear them again?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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