Avalon String Quartet performs at Mendelssohn May 10

Online Staff Report

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center will present the Avalon String Quartet in concert with “Janacek and Dvorak” at 7 p.m., Friday, May 10, at Starr Center on the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s campus, 415 N. Church St., Rockford. A reception will follow the concert.

Czech composer Leoš Janácek was born in 1854 and was inspired by Moravian and all Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style. In 1874, Janácek became friends with Antonín Dvorák, and began composing in a relatively traditional romantic style. Janácek’s later works are his most celebrated and include the symphonic poem Sinfonietta, the oratorio Glagolitic Mass, the rhapsody Taras Bulba and two string quartets.

Antonín Dvorák, considered one of the most important Czech composers along with Janácek, was born in 1841. Among Dvorák’s best-known works are his New World Symphony, the “American” String Quartet, the opera Rusalka and his Cello Concerto in B minor. His smaller works include the seventh Humoresque and the song “Songs my mother taught me.” Dvorák’s own style has been described as “the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them.” Dvorák has also been described as “arguably the most versatile … composer of his time.”

The Avalon String Quartet, one of the country’s leading string ensembles, was formerly in residence at Juilliard School and Indiana University, and is now in residence at Northern Illinois University. The quartet features Blaise Magniere, violin; Marie Wang, violin; Anthony Devroye, viola; and Cheg-Hou Lee, cello.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students, and can be purchased online at www.mendelssohnpac.org or by calling (815) 964-9713.

Posted May 8, 2013

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