Visiting Artists

Visiting Artist Series
Apple Hill String Quartet

AppleHill2.inddThe Williams College Department of Music presents Apple Hill String Quartet on Wednesday, November 2 at 8 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams campus. On the same day and in the same venue the quartet also offers a composition reading at 2:35 p.m. and a master class at 4:15 p.m. All of these events are free and open to the public.

Apple Hill String Quartet (Elise Kuder and Colleen Jennings – violins, Mike Kelley – viola, Rupert Thompson – cello) offer a program that starts in the classical era with String Quartet in C Major, op. 54 No. 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn, followed by a more contemporary work by Philip Glass, String Quartet No. 4, “Buczak.” In the second half of the program they present String Quartet No. 2, op. 7, “From the Monkey Mountains” by Pavel Haas.

About Apple Hill String Quartet

Since its founding in 2007, the Apple Hill String Quartet has earned praise around the world for its concerts presenting interpretive mastery of traditional repertoire – including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven, and Ravel – as well as for world premieres and commissioned pieces. As resident musicians at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Quartet is featured in the summer concert series held every Tuesday night at the Center in Nelson, N.H. These concerts attract hundreds of visitors and have become a mainstay of the Monadnock area summer music offerings.

Education is an integral part of the Quartet’s mission. For three months in the summer, the Quartet comprises the core faculty for five separate 10-day summer workshops held at Apple Hill and attended by 300 participants. During the regular concert season, the Quartet conducts mini- residencies in embassies, communities, schools, and universities from the Monadnock region to major U.S. cities and around the world as part of Apple Hill’s Playing for Peace program.

As 21st-century musicians, members of the Quartet are deeply committed to the performance of new works. Recent premieres include Traces by Syrian composer Kareem Roustom, commissioned by Apple Hill, Dartmouth College, and Arizona State University, featuring Israeli pianist Sally Pinkas, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and the Apple Hill String Quartet; Crossroads by John Harbison, co-commissioned by Apple Hill and 15 music organizations throughout the U.S., featuring soprano Kendra Colton, oboist Peggy Pearson, string bassist Susan Hagen, and the Apple Hill String Quartet; and Quartet No. 1 by Daniel Sedgwick, commissioned by Apple Hill. Future performances include a work by John Harbison, commissioned by Apple Hill, for solo cello, oboe, string bass, and the Apple Hill String Quartet, to be premiered in the summer of 2015. The Quartet’s project, “Around the World with Playing for Peace,” features the rich multicultural repertoire of countries visited through the Playing for Peace program. Featured composers have included Pavel Haas, Victor Ullman and Erwin Schulhoff, all of whom perished in Nazi concentration camps; Turkish composers Ahmed Saygun and Ekrem Zeki Ün; Armenian composers Alan Hovhaness and A. Zohrabian; Syrian composer Kareem Roustom; and American composers Roger Sessions, John Harbison, Tom Oboe Lee, Meredith Monk, Lawrence Siegel, and Charles Ives.

Founded in the early 1970’s, Apple Hill is a center of classical music performance and teaching, stewarded today by the organization’s Director, Leonard Matczynski, and ensemble-in-residence, the Apple Hill String Quartet. This group of professional musicians presents concerts through- out the world and, for three months of the summer, teaches and coaches chamber music to participants of all ages and levels at the Summer Chamber Music Workshop held each summer at Apple Hill’s 100 acre campus in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. The organization’s innovative Playing for Peace program puts musicians of conflicting cultures together in chamber groups, enabling them to transcend national and cultural boundaries and work with one another in an atmosphere that promotes diversity, creativity, and understanding through excellence in music.