Hope College’s Great Performance Series will continue with the St. Lawrence String Quartet on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.
The SLSQ is renowned for the intensity of its performances, its breadth of repertoire and its commitment to concert experiences that are at once intellectually exciting and emotionally alive. The quartet has been called “witty, buoyant, and wickedly attentive” (The Gazette, Montreal), and celebrated for its “smoldering intensity” (Washington Post) and “flexibility, dramatic fire and… hint of rock ‘n’ roll energy” (Los Angeles Times).
The New York Times has described the music of the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) as “a sound that has just about everything one wants from a quartet, most notably precision, warmth and an electricity that conveys the excitement of playing whatever is on their stands at the moment.”
The performance at Hope College will include the quartet’s popular “Haydn Discovery” which focuses on Joseph Haydn’s “String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2.” Haydn has been a passion for SLSQ since the quartet’s founding in 1989, and its mission here is to shift the common perception of Haydn from “pleasant opening music” to “radical, passionate innovator.” Led by Geoff Nuttall, SLSQ explores a Haydn quartet in depth at the beginning of the performance, and then plays the piece through, with the aim to engage the audience in active listening towards a much deeper appreciation of Haydn’s compositional genius. Nuttall’s conversational style has led The New York Times to call him “The Jon Stewart of chamber music.”
The quartet will also perform John Adams’ “Second Quartet” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Quartet in F-Major, Op. 135.”
Established in 1989, the St. Lawrence String Quartet earned international recognition within a few years, winning both the Banff Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artists audition in 1992. SLSQ performs internationally and has served as Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University since 1998. The quartet performed as part of the Hope College Great Performance Series in 2005.
The St. Lawrence String Quartet continues to build its reputation for imaginative and spontaneous music-making through an energetic commitment to the great established quartet literature, as well as the championing of new works by such composers as John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Ezequiel Vinao and Jonathan Berger. Of the quartet’s collaborations with Adams, the Washington Post asserted, “If good relationships are built on trust, the bond between the St. Lawrence String Quartet and composer John Adams is a marriage made in chamber music heaven.”
Individual tickets for the concert are $20 for regular admission, $15 for senior citizens, $6 for children 18 and under, and free for Hope College students. Tickets are available online at hope.edu/tickets as well as at the ticket office in the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The ticket office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.
More information about this year’s Great Performance Series may be obtained online by visiting hope.edu/gps/.
The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts is located at 221 Columbia Ave., between Ninth and 10th streets.