American String Quartet returns to Skidmore for string festival; will participate in College’s Beethoven project March 7

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The world-renowned American String Quartet (ASQ) returns to Skidmore College for the third time as artists-in-residence during the weekend of March 7-8 for the 11th annual Skidmore String Festival, which is part of the college’s ELM Chamber Music Residency. The ASQ will also participate in Skidmore’s continuing Beethoven project while on campus.

The festival features a performance by the ASQ at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7, in Arthur Zankel Music Center. Tickets are on sale in advance. A second concert, the festival finale, features ASQ and Skidmore faculty joining the student performers. Scheduled for Sunday, March 8, at 2 p.m., also in Zankel, the festival finale is free. Saturday’s concert by the ASQ is will feature an all-Beethoven program as the concert is part of Skidmore’s ongoing Beethoven project in which six internationally renowned guest artist are presenting the full cycle of Beethoven’s 16 string quartets over the course of two years. The ASQ will perform the Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2; the Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74; and the Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and the Skidmore community, and free for students and children. For ticket information for the March 7 American String Quartet Concert, please visit the Skidmore College web site, http://www.skidmore.edu/zankel/

Festival activities include individual and group coaching with the dynamic quartet and Skidmore faculty. Michael Emery, senior artist-in-residence at Skidmore, invited established high school string quartets to join Skidmore students for a weekend of individual, non-competitive coaching with members of the ASQ and Skidmore faculty as well as a performance in the Arthur Zankel Music Center’s Helen Ladd Concert Hall.

Internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost quartets, the ASQ is celebrating its 39th season this year. Quartet members are Peter Winograd (violin), Laurie Carney (violin), Daniel Avshalomov (viola), and Wolfram Koessel (cello). Over nearly four decades of touring the quartet has performed in all 50 states and appeared in the world’s most important concert halls. The group’s presentations of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Schubert, Bartók, and Mozart have won widespread critical acclaim, and its MusicMasters Complete Mozart String Quartets, performed on a matched set of instruments by Stradivarius, are widely considered to have set the standard for this repertoire.

In addition to quartets by European masters, the ASQ performs works by American composers and also champions contemporary music. The quartet has commissioned and premiered works by distinguished American composers Richard Danielpour, Tobias Picker, and George Tsontakis, among others.

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