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Visiting guest artist

Acclaimed Calidore String Quartet announces spring lineup

The internationally acclaimed Calidore String Quartet, noted for its fiery brilliance, breadth of musicianship and palpable on-stage energy, will serve as 2017 visiting guest artist for the University of Delaware, putting on four powerhouse performances this spring.

The first performance will be held 8 p.m. Friday, March 17, in Gore Recital Hall in the Roselle Center for the Arts, where the quartet will play works by Beethoven, Ligeti and Mozart, along with UD violist Sheila Browne.

They will also headline the University’s Mendelssohn Festival, playing the complete works for string quartet by the celebrated German composer, from April 24-26, and culminating on Wednesday, April 26, with an 8 p.m. performance of the composer’s electrifying Octet for Strings with UD’s own resident quartet, the Serafin String Quartet. (The concerts from April 24-25 will be held at 5:30 p.m. Ticket prices and additional information can be found online.)

“The collaboration with the Calidore String Quartet will further enhance the chamber music experience for our string students in the Department of Music,” said faculty member and Serafin cellist Lawrence Stomberg. “In addition to the students’ ongoing work with Serafin String Quartet, they will get to work with this wonderful ensemble in coaching and master classes, gaining new and varied insights into chamber music practice and performance.”

The collaboration is a perfect fit for Calidore, as well.

“Teaching along with performing is at the core of our goals as a string quartet,” said the quartet’s Ryan Meehan. “We have been afforded the opportunity to study with some of the greatest and most generous musical minds in the world, and we feel it is our duty to pass this information on to the next generation of musicians. We are ecstatic to begin our work with the students at University of Delaware!”

Current UD Board of Trustees member and former faculty member Don Puglisi and his wife, Marichu Valencia, funded the group’s residency activities at UD.

“They bring such vitality to the stage, it’s almost magical to witness,” said Valencia.

As visiting guest artists, the quartet will also perform formal concerts in the 2017 fall semester, in addition to engaging with students and community members throughout the year to help raise the profile of the University’s relatively young string program.

“The quality of UD’s music program is very good, and we see the musical arts as an area where the University can achieve excellence,” Puglisi added.

With that goal in mind, the couple’s gift also provides a multi-dimensional approach that buttresses formal performances with interactive classes and exchanges with students, such as individual coaching for chamber ensembles, advice on rehearsal techniques, guest lectures and more.

UD sees the gift as an ideal enhancement of the arts experiences that are so crucial for students’ academic development. Through such visiting artists, students gain exposure to stellar performers, and also get the chance to make that exposure more immediate through creative learning opportunities with the quartet. And, as Puglisi adds, mentorship is especially important in the musical arts, where the musicians under which one has studied often serve as a measure for success.

Meehan adds that through coachings, master classes and open rehearsals, students gain insight into navigating the intricacies and inherent challenges of rehearsing and performing with one another, a vital aspect of their musical development.

The Calidore Quartet’s members, in particular, were mentored by the famed Emerson String Quartet, which has amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over four decades, from nine Grammy Awards (including two for Best Classical Album), to more than 30 acclaimed recordings.

In a fitting follow-up to the Calidore’s performance, the Emerson Quartet will perform on April 30 at the Roselle Center for the Arts, as part of the University’s Master Players Concert Series. (Click here for more information).

“This is a very exciting time for music at the University of Delaware,” department chair Russell Murray said. “With such well-considered support and high caliber visiting artists, we can continue and accelerate the growth of our outstanding music program.”

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