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String Quartet

September 4, 1988 | HERBERT GLASS
After 22 years with RCA, the only label for which it has ever recorded, the Guarneri Quartet has switched to Philips. The group's debut under these new auspices pairs (as usual) Dvorak's "American" Quartet and Smetana's "From My Life" (Philips 420 803, CD). Simultaneously, RCA has reissued in its midpriced "Gold Seal" CD series (6263) the Guarneri's "American" Quartet, initially released in 1972. The differences are considerable, but either way, the playing is magnificent.
March 13, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Music Critic
When the chamber music revival of the 1960s and early 1970s - a kind of classical music response to the folk music revival a few years earlier - had passed its peak, the string quartet as a medium was still strong. But the progressive musical world had moved on to electronics, the new Minimalism and radical experimentalism. The string quartet stood for stuffy, old-fashioned efforts.  No one could have imagined that two ensembles could change all that, renewing the repertory with well over a 1000 new pieces over the past four decades.
March 25, 1994
The world premiere of Alexandra Pierce's "Outcrops and Upshots" for string quartet will be given Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Emerald Room at the Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave. Also on the program: Mendelssohn's Quintet in B-flat, Opus 87, and Haydn's Quartet in D-minor, Opus 20, No. 4. The players are violinists Margaret Batjer and Sheryl Staples, violists Roland Kato and Michael Nowak and cellist David Speltz.
February 17, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Derived from found footage, Bill Morrison's films are odes to snubbed celluloid. Whether he slices the surviving moldy fragments of a lost silent film, as in "Decasia," or crafts a dirge to the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi River with old documentary material, as in the recent "The Great Flood," Morrison savors decayed film stock for its ghostly beauty. Lost worlds are not created or evoked; they are discovered and recovered. What makes Morrison a great filmmaker, though, is not merely his application of restoration hardware but his brilliant exercise of symphonic software.
July 14, 1987 | DON HECKMAN
Jazz violinists have not been the most numerous of improvisational musicians. String quartets have been even more rare, making the appearance of Richard Greene's ensemble at the Vine St. Bar & Grill on Sunday especially interesting. Greene's reputation has been established on the crossover fringes of jazz/rock and pop music, with stints ranging from Jim Kweskin's Jug Band to the group Seatrain.
June 7, 1992 | HERBERT GLASS, Herbert Glass is a regular contributor to Calendar.
By not being ubiquitous in the recording studios, by not feeling obliged to churn out every component of the so-called standard repertory, the Alban Berg Quartet of Vienna manages to create a sense of anticipation and occasion with each new release.
October 18, 1991 | TIMOTHY MANGAN
It could have been a major event, a perfect opportunity to delve deeply (finally) into Mexico's contemporary music repertory.
June 26, 1993
The city will begin its new classical music summer concert series with a 4:30 p.m. performance Sunday by the Pacific String Quartet at Beckenham Park. Residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets to the free concert, which is among the programs directed by the city's newly expanded Recreation Department. Alcoholic beverages and barbecues are not permitted. The park is on Beckenham Street, just east of Paseo de Valencia.
July 15, 1996 | SUSAN BLISS
The Southwest Chamber Music Society kicked off its third season of summer concerts Saturday night at the Huntington Art Gallery with a bracing agenda of some rarely heard and long-loved fare. Yet, with half of the established Southwest String Quartet missing, one could only wonder if group dynamics prevented the performers from meeting the challenges at hand; second violinist Susan Jensen was out with tendinitis, and scheduling conflicts kept cellist Leighton Fong from participating.
October 25, 1995 | JOSEF WOODARD
When the St. Petersburg String Quartet made its Los Angeles debut Monday at Pierce College, the musicians managed to cover, with just three works, a telling swath of historical ground. Nineteenth-Century Russian romanticism came courtesy of Borodin's second String Quartet, the tuneful work co-opted by Broadway for 1953's "Kismet." Contemporary Georgian composer Zurab Nadarejshvili's mesmerizing first String Quartet of 1983 commemorated the World War II battle scars of his people.
January 16, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
So that's what the Wallis sounds like. It's been more than two months since Beverly Hills opened its swank Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. But until Wednesday night the multipurpose Bram Goldsmith Theater in the transformed historic post office building had yet to be purposed for unamplified music (with the exception of a few minutes of a tony gala). The St. Lawrence String Quartet did the honors by inaugurating the Wallis' classical music series. A hall with many uses - music of all sorts, theater, dance, opera and children's shows - can be an acoustician's riskiest assignment.
January 12, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
"Tomorrow they will wear another face," is how Ralph Waldo Emerson began the closing couplet of his poem "Experience. " And now, the Emerson String Quartet wears, for the first time in 34 years, another face. Founded in 1976, the year of America's bicentennial, this commandingly all-American string quartet, a national symbol of sorts, welcomes a new nationality. British cellist Paul Watkins recently replaced David Finckel. "Succession swift," the Transcendentalist poet and essayist also wrote in "Experience.
October 31, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
While driving to Aliso Viejo on Tuesday to hear the Juilliard String Quartet play Bach, Schubert and a young American composer, Jesse Jones, at the Soka Performing Arts Center, I listened to a little early Bob Dylan. It seemed right. But so might have Leonard Bernstein, Glenn Gould, something from Stravinsky's Los Angeles years or Aaron Copland. Anything by Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk would have been equally suitable. All were artists on Columbia Records, and in the '40s, '50s and '60s, all were showing the extraordinary originality of North American music.
October 16, 2013 | By Susan King
A hot ticket every fall at California Institute of the Arts is Gary Mairs' weekly silent movie screenings for his film history class. You read that right - silent movie screenings. The Bijou Theater is not packed because students at the Valencia campus are crazy for silent movies necessarily, but because of the live music that accompanies these classics. Since 2004, Mairs has invited students, faculty and alumni at CalArts' Herb Albert School of Music to accompany the films. Over the years, the music has run the gamut from an original string quartet for Carl Theodore Dryer's 1928 "The Passion of Joan of Arc" to an improvised accompaniment for D.W. Griffith's 1919 "Broken Blossoms," which combined American folk with experimental/electronic music, to a free jazz score for 1929's "Man With a Movie Camera.
April 22, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Eleven minutes and 22 seconds of what was once expected to be a major half-hour string quartet is not, quite yet, a comeback. But a little more than 11 minutes of very good music by a wonderful composer, loved by audiences and performers alike and simply one of the great musical forces of our time, is a start. What's to be done about Osvaldo Golijov other than wait? Probably nothing. His "Qohelet," which the St. Lawrence String Quartet played at Irvine Barclay Theatre on Sunday afternoon, had its first performance at Stanford University in 2011.
April 19, 2012 | By Mark Swed
The first of the two-day New Zealand in L.A. festival at REDCAT on Wednesday night featured eight chamber and solo works by Kiwi composers, none with much of an international reputation, and a renowned performer on Maori instruments, Richard Nunns. The audience was quite small. Despite the wonderful “Whale Rider” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (Nunns performs on the soundtracks), New Zealand remains musically remote. I'm intentionally ignoring Hayley Westenra. But that could change overnight.
February 24, 1997 | DANIEL CARIAGA
Now in its 28th season--middle age for a string quartet--the Tokyo String Quartet has a new first violinist: Mikhail Kopelman, a Ukrainian who for two decades held the equivalent post in the Borodin Quartet. Kopelman joined violinist Kikuei Ikeda (a member since 1974), founding violist Kazuhide Isomura and founding cellist Sadao Harada at Cal State Long Beach Saturday night.
Within the familiar pattern of performing pieces from three historical periods, the American String Quartet presented three life-and-death works Friday in Founders Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. In these works, Bartok, Schubert and Mozart all addressed issues that had less to do with entertaining anyone than dealing with their own lives and times, and that's the way the musicians performed them.
December 15, 2009
This month's makeover COMPANY SNAPSHOT Business: Ice Bulb, based in Newport Beach, sells custom-made ice decor to hotels, restaurants and event planners, among others. Owner: Marc Entin Employees: 2 part-time, 8 temporary Revenue (2008) : $280,000 Founded: December 2007 Start-up funds: $100,000 in personal savings from Entin and his former business partner CHALLENGE How to find enough customers that want his higher-priced products GOAL Increase annual sales to $750,000 in 2010, educate people about the possibilities of using ice as decor, and become the leader in the ice industry MEET THE EXPERT Charlie Baecker is administrative director of the Don Beall Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine and a lecturer at the business school.
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