Photo courtesy of the Artisan String Quartet
For the final show of its 39th season, the Austin-based Artisan String Quartet will present works that seldom fall on modern ears. During the upcoming concert “On Wenlock Edge,” the group will perform the rare Ralph Vaughan Williams song cycle of the same name in its original 1911 version, as well as a lesser-known quartet from Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. The Williams composition draws inspiration from the lyrical poetry of A. E. Houseman, covering themes of bitter disappointments and eventual growth.
The Artisan String Quartet celebrates a storied history. In the past decade alone, the group has contributed to the film score for a documentary about renowned Metropolitan Opera singer Barbara Conrad Smith and made their Carnegie Hall debut. Now the quartet is entering a new stage of existence with the recent addition of violinist Patrice Calixte, following the retirement of previous member Richard Kilmer. Calixte joins violinist Caleb Hans Polashek, violist Bruce Williams and cellist Douglas Harvey.
“On Wenlock Edge” will take place on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, Feb. 29 at First Presbyterian Church. Two fellow Austin Chamber Ensemble musicians, pianist Martha Mortensen Ahern and tenor Jeffery Jones-Ragona, will join the quartet for the performance. In Studio 1A, the Artisan String Quartet previewed the first movement of Dvořák’s Quartet Op. 51 in anticipation of the shows. Find tickets and more information about “On Wenlock Edge” here.
— Annie Lyons, KUTX Intern
Host: John Aielli
Audio Engineer: Jake Perlman
Producer: Deidre Gott