Elements Quartet to present multimedia 'Snapshots'


New musical compositions based on photographs will be the focus of “Snapshots,” a multimedia performance by Elements Quartet at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre at SUNY Oswego.

Sponsored by the Artswego Performing Arts Series and the SUNY Oswego music department, “Snapshots” is part of the college’s inaugural Ke-Nekt chamber music series.

“This multimedia show promises to be an aural and visual treat,” said Mary Avrakotos, who coordinates the Artswego program. “Since Elements Quartet was so popular the last time they played here, and they have such an innovative and creative new program, this presented the perfect opportunity to bring them back to campus.”

The quartet of Edward Arron, Danielle Farina, Jeffrey Multer and Xiao-Dong Wang represents a cross-section of classically trained musicians who strive to bring chamber music to new audiences.

The string quartet commissioned 16 composers to create short works based on photographs chosen by the composers for their evocative qualities. As Elements Quartet perform the pieces in concert, the photographs that inspired them are projected onto a large screen to tie together the inspiration and the realization.

The resulting collaboration yielded a wide variety in style and tone, according to Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout.

“Aside from the music, what struck me most forcibly about ‘Snapshots’ was the extent to which it departed from prevailing norms of classical concertizing without degenerating into silliness or pandering,” Teachout said after seeing a performance in New York City’s Merkin Hall. “I’ve never seen so large and enthusiastic a crowd at a program consisting entirely of new music for string quartet.”

Other reviewers also have raved about the program. “The Elements’ playing was crisp and energetic,” the New Jersey Star Ledger reported. “The ensemble sent the folks home wreathed in smiles.” The Times Herald-Record noted the group’s “ability to make music in the spaces between the notes is the stuff this dream quartet brings to the world.”

The group’s residency work at SUNY Oswego also will include speaking to classes and conducting an informal informance at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, at the Lake Effect Cafe in Penfield Library.

Funds for residency work in conjunction with this performance have been provided by Chamber Music America with support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Residency Endowment Fund. Media support comes from Clear Channel Radio and Classic FM, WCNY 91.3 FM in Syracuse.

Tickets for the multimedia “Snapshots” concert cost $15 ($10 for seniors and students, $5 for SUNY Oswego students). For information or reservations, call Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.

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(Posted: Feb 16, 2005)

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