Award-Winning Cypress String Quartet To Perform For Third Time With Wittenberg Music Professor
Published March 12, 2012
Springfield, Ohio – For the third time since 2006, the innovative, award-winning Cypress String Quartet will perform at Wittenberg University with Associate Professor of Music Christopher Durrenberger at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 25, in Krieg Hall.
The performance, presented by Wittenberg’s Department of Music with support from the Faculty Endowment Fund Board, Faculty Research Fund and the Departments of Athletics, Theatre and Dance, and International Studies, is open to the public free of charge.
The concert program includes “Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 20 No. 1” by famed Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, “American Quartet Op. 96” by famed 19thcentury Czech composer Antonin Dvorak and “Piano Quintet in F Minor Opus 34” by the legendary 19th century German composer Johannes Brahms.
“I’m very pleased to continue the collaboration with this fine ensemble,” Durrenberger said. “They are one of the finest string quartets currently performing in America, and it is an honor to have them back on campus.”
In addition to the performance, members of Cypress String Quartet – including Cecily Ward, violin, Tom Stone, violin, Ethan Filner, viola, and Jennifer Kloetzel, cello – will conduct a Guest Artist Masterclass at 4 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the Center for the Arts at Wittenberg University.
Formed in 1996 in San Francisco, Cypress String Quartet’s sound has been called “beautifully proportioned and powerful” by The Washington Post, and the ensemble has been singled out by Chamber Music Magazine as “a Generation X ensemble to watch.” The quartet has 13 CDs to its credit, including four new releases in the last year alone. Earlier this month, Cypress String Quartet released a pair of CDs dedicated to the works of Ludwig van Beethoven.
From the beginning, Cypress String Quartet made a commitment to each other to only perform as a quartet (meaning that they would not take on teaching or freelance jobs as orchestral members or with other chamber ensembles). In order to realize their artistic vision, they decided early on to organize as a non-profit – the Cypress Performing Arts Association – rather than signing with a management agency.
On top of a busy schedule of more than 90 concerts each year at venues across the United States and internationally, including major concert halls and series such as the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, Krannert Center and Ravinia Festival, Cypress String Quartet is dedicated to reflecting and enriching the San Francisco’s cultural landscape. Through its Call & Response commissioning and outreach program, the quartet has created a dialogue between the old masters and living composers, performing known and loved repertoire in a fresh context and introducing ground-breaking new works to the chamber music genre.
Now celebrating its 15thyear, Cypress String Quartet has commissioned and premiered more than 30 new works, four of which are now included on Chamber Music America’s list of 101 Great American Ensemble Works. Quartet members trained individually at some of the world’s foremost music institutions, including The Juilliard School, Interlochen Arts Academy, Cleveland Institute of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Royal College of Music. They play exceptional instruments, including violins by Antonio Stradivarius (1681) and Carlos Bergonzi (1733), a viola by Vittorio Bellarosa (1947) and a cello by Hieronymus Amati II (1701).
For more information and the Cypress String Quartet’s most up to date concert schedule, visit www.cypressquartet.com.
Durrenberger has been teaching at Wittenberg since 1999, and he has also served as music reviewer and judge for the Chamber Music Yellow Springs concert series and competition for more than a decade. He first met the Cypress String Quartet at their concert appearance there in 2004.
Durrenberger has earned top prizes in such major national and international competitions as the Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions, the Los Angeles Etude Musical Club Piano Competition, the Young Keyboard Artists Association International Piano Competition and the National Music Teachers Association National Piano Competition. He has performed throughout the world in venues ranging from the Capital Theater at the Riffe Center in Columbus to the Cairo Opera House in Cairo, Egypt.
Durrenberger, who earned a bachelor of music from Oberlin College and a master’s and doctorate of musical arts with honors from the University of Southern California School of Music, traveled to mainland China in 2010 to present a series of concerts and masterclasses at major universities and conservatories in Shenyang, Dalian and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 2009, Durrenberger made a return appearance with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra at Kuss Auditorium of the Clark State Community College Performing Arts Center, where he performed Lowell Liebermann’s Second Piano Concerto.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photo By: Erin Pence