January 24, 2012


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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Britain's world-renowned Fitzwilliam String Quartet will be in residence at Bucknell University in February.

During their residency, the quartet will meet with classes, present several workshops and give four concerts, scheduled for Feb. 5, 7, 12 and 14.

All concerts, which are free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building.

"The Fitzwilliam is one of the very few string quartets in Britain using classical instruments for the appropriate repertoire, and perhaps unique in that they perform on both historical and modern instrumentation, sometimes within the same concert," said Barry Hannigan, professor of music at Bucknell.

"Quartet-in-residence at the Universities of York and Warwick, they also were affiliate artists at Bucknell from 1978 to 1986, returning to campus again on a regular basis beginning in 1998. Those lucky enough to have heard the quartet over the years can attest to the high quality of their performances.

"It is an extraordinary opportunity for the community to hear these musicians for free. We sincerely thank the generosity of the Kushell Foundation, which has endowed a series of residencies for the Bucknell Music Department," he said.

Members of the string quartet are Alan George, viola, an original member of the quartet; Lucy Russell, violin; Colin Scobie, violin; and Heather Tuach, violoncello.

Founded in 1968 by four Cambridge undergraduates, the Fitzwilliam first became well known through their close personal association with Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who entrusted them with the Western premières of his last three quartets.

Last year, the Quartet completed four recording projects: The Bruckner String Quartet and Quintet with violist James Boyd (Linn Records), a jazz recording with saxophonist Uwe Steinmetz and violinist Mads Tolling, the complete string quartets of John Ramsay (Divine Arts) and chamber music by South African composer Michael Blake.

The Bucknell concert program includes:

Sunday, Feb. 5: a performance in honor of Delius' 150th birthday celebration (Grainger/Grieg/Delius) and Schubert's "D minor (Death and the Maiden)."

Tuesday, Feb. 7: "Fantazia(s)" by Purcell;" Tchaikovsky's "Souvenir de Florence" with Bucknell faculty members Christopher Para and Andrew Rammon; and the U.S. premiere of "Ghosts" by Jackson Hill, professor emeritus of music at Bucknell.

Sunday, Feb. 12: with "Duo" by Kodaly; "Cello Sonata" by Shostakovich; "Chaconne" by Bach; and Mendelssohn's "D minor Trio" with pianist Barry Hannigan.

Tuesday, Feb. 14: extracts from Bach's "Art of Fugue; "Crisantemi" by Puccini; Mozart's "Flute Quartet" with flutist Mary Hannigan; and Elgar's "Piano Quintet" with pianist Barry Hannigan.

The residency is supported by the Kushell Music Endowment of Bucknell University. For more information concerning the concerts or class visits, call 570-577-1239.

Contact: Division of Communications