ALEXANDER STRING QUARTET RESIDENCY CLOSES
The Alexander String Quartet came once again to the St. Lawrence campus for the 2012-2013 academic year. The quartet, consisting of Zakarias Grafilo, violin 1; Frederick Lifsitz, violin 2; Paul Yarbrough, viola; and Sandy Wilson, cello; hails from San Francisco, although their reputation as thoughtful and skillful musicians extends well beyond the Bay area. While in residence here, the Alexander String Quartet lent their talents to a number of St. Lawrence classes, as well as to the Crane School of Music for a second year of a shared residency. Many of the classes visited were arts oriented, including music, performance, and drawing classes, though the Quartet also made time to appear in a few FYP courses which were centered on both personal and performance topics, providing context in much the same way as they helped bring to life Jane Austen’s England for Professor Breashears’ SYE. An experimental presentation in the Richard F. Brush art gallery to a local high school art class turned out some marvelous artwork as the quartet addressed the exhibition War-Toys, a collection of war-themed photos created with toys and the drawings by children of countries at war that expressed the art and their feelings about war.
In addition, they performed a noon matinee and a formal evening concert open to the public. The quartet’s evening program included Mozart’s String Quartet in F Major, KV 590; Brahms’ O schöne nacht, Op. 92, No. 1; and Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 with the Grosse Fuge, Op. 133. The quartet embraced the talents available here on campus by performing a world première of Bird, Bird, Bluebird, composed by St. Lawrence Associate Professor of Music In-Sil Yoo. They also joined forces with The Laurentian Singers, directed by Barry Torres, in presenting two movements from Winter Light, by Michael Gandolfi.
Overall, the residency was an enriching experience for the St. Lawrence community that is certainly worth repeating in the future.
Riel Lawlor, arts programming assistant