March 14, 2007

Cassatt String Quartet

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Cassatt String Quartet will perform Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m. at the Weis Center at Bucknell University. The quartet will be joined for two works by soprano Catherine Payn and women members of the Bucknell Opera Company. Tickets are $20.

The quartet – Muneko Otani, violin; Jennifer Leshnower, violin; Michiko Oshima, viola; and Nicole Johnson, cello – will perform Beethoven's Quartet in C-Minor, Op. 18; and Maurice Ravel's Quartet in F-Major.

"One highlight of the evening's delightful program is a performance of Libby Larsen's Giving Thanks: A Native Good Morning Message," said Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center. "This is a rare performance of a beautiful, accessible, and recent work which speaks to all of us today." This piece will feature the women of the Bucknell Opera Company.

"Written for the Cassatt Quartet and a chorus in Syracuse, N.Y., the text is based on an Iroquois Nation Native American Thanksgiving Address, an ancient message of peace and respect for the earth and all its inhabitants," he said.

Another work, Rebecca Clarke's Daybreak for soprano and string quartet, will feature guest artist Catherine Payn, soprano, associate professor of music at Bucknell and director of the Bucknell Opera Company.

The Cassatt also will participate in the free Meet-the-Artist lecture-demonstration Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell.

Special Family Concert

The Cassatt will present a special concert for families Saturday, March 24, at 1 p.m. in the Weis Center. "Sing, Play, and Howl with the Cassatt Quartet" will feature Andrew Waggoner's "I Want to Go with the Wolves" for string quartet with audience participation. The composer will be at the performance to introduce the work and rehearse the audience. The performance will include excerpts of music for string quartet by Beethoven, Currier,  and Ravel. This family matinee is presented free to the public through the generosity of Clayton and David Lightman and members of the Weis Center Green Room Board.

"This is a rare and special musical week on the Bucknell campus," said Boswell. "We are lucky to have the four members of the Cassatt Quartet living and working with us and Bucknell's students for almost eight days. The activities are varied and the amount of music making enormous."

One of America's outstanding ensembles

Formed in 1985, the Manhattan-based Cassatt String Quartet initiated and served as the inaugural participants in Juilliard's Young Artists Quartet Program. Hailed as one of America’s outstanding ensembles, the Cassatt has performed throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East, with prestigious appearances in New York, Tanglewood, Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and Maeda Hall in Tokyo. For more information or to hear music samples, see http://www.cassattquartet.com/.

Tickets for Weis Center performances are available in person from the Campus Box Office by calling 570-577-1000 or online at http://www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice/.  The box office in the Weis Center also opens one hour prior to performances.

The week-long residency of the Cassatt Quartet on the Bucknell campus is funded in large part by the Kushell Music Endowment of the Department of Music of Bucknell University. The residency also has been helped with in-kind support of the Lewisburg Hotel which housed the members of the quartet during their stay.

The 2006-07 season of Weis Center Events is generously supported by grants from the Bucknell University Association for the Arts and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support for the series is provided by numerous and generous private donors including members of the Weis Center Green Room Circle and Green Room Board.

Posted March 14, 2007

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