Hyperion String Quartet, pianist to offer 'highly personal' works

Hyperion String Quartet will appear Wednesday, Nov. 30, adding a fifth player, the college’s Robert Auler, to perform “highly personal, highly original” interpretations of two landmark piano quintets.

Hyperion String QuartetRecent medalists at both the Coleman and Fischoff competitions, the quartet that originated at Rochester’s Eastman School of Music will take the stage at 7 p.m. in Sheldon Hall ballroom as part of SUNY Oswego’s Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series.

Hyperion String Quartet, whose members currently are on the faculty of the College of Saint Rose, has performed from Lincoln Center to Japan’s Izumi Hall. “They play like a single living, breathing organism,” Classical Voice raved.

Auler, an award-winning concert pianist and an associate professor in SUNY Oswego’s music department, said he has known members of the group’s Brin family for years. Cellist Jonathan Brin and wife Amanda, a violinist, are founding members of the quartet.

“Brother Patrick Brin and I were friends at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music; he was a fine musician, with whom I got to collaborate,” Auler said. “Later, upon moving to Central New York, I’ve gotten to know Joe and Nancy Brin—proud parents, music lovers and teachers in their own right. I had begun hearing rave reviews of the Hyperion Quartet through professional channels, and, at the same time, had an opportunity to learn more about their work from Nancy Brin. I’m thrilled to work with them.”

Joy of teamwork

Hyperion’s players and Auler will present “Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57,” by the renowned modernist Dmitri Shostakovich, and Cesar Franck’s “Piano Quintet in F minor.”

“Shostakovich is a Soviet-era composer who always had to walk a fine line between his own natural musical inclinations and the expectations of Stalin’s regime,” Auler said. “Audiences seem to gravitate to his work, even if it’s not quite tonal.”

Franck wrote “Piano Quintet in F minor” when he was in his 50s. “It really took him that long to compose his most enduring works. His language is highly emotional, and it really embodies the ‘Romantic’ ideal of his time period,” Auler said.

Calling the works “highly personal, highly original,” Auler said he relishes the opportunity to “fit in to an already established framework” when he works with the quartet.

“This will be a lot of fun,” he said. “For a pianist, we tend to do a lot on our own, whether it’s a solo recital or endless hours practicing. So this ability to be part of a team is going to be really cool.”

Tickets are available for $15 ($12 for seniors 62 and over, children ages 17 and under and SUNY Oswego faculty and staff; $6 for SUNY Oswego students) at all SUNY Oswego box office locations, online at http://tickets.oswego.edu and by phone at 315-312-2141.

Parking is free in campus lots for those attending this performance. Patrons with disabilities needing assistance should call 312-2141 in advance.

PHOTO CAPTION: Stirring teamwork—The Hyperion String Quarter will appear with SUNY Oswego pianist and faculty member Robert Auler at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Sheldon Hall ballroom on campus, offering piano quintets of Shostakovich and Franck.

(Posted: Nov 16, 2011)