A Celebration of Music by Black Composers
We are extremely excited to announce our new classical music series, called the Cynthia Marks Chamber Music Series. In partnership with the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, the Chamber Music Series brings our classical performancs into one excellent series. This series would not be possible without the support of Cynthia Marks.
A Celebration of Music by Black Composers features the UCalgary String Quartet and the recently appointed University of Calgary piano professor, Dr. Jani Parsons. The featured composers in this concert are Florence Price, Eleanor Alberga, William Grant Still and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. The quartet comprises of Edmond Agopian and Isaac Willocks, violins, Dean O’Brien, viola, and Beth Root Sandvoss, cello.
“Their interpretation of the Beethoven and Mendelssohn was exhilarating, vibrant and full of energy. But above all, what left me amazed were the klezmer and folk music arrangements; such exciting music…”
Radiodifusao Portuguesa (National Radio of Portugal)
Florence Price – String Quartet in G major No. 1 (1929)
- Andante moderato – Allegretto
Eleanor Alberga – String Quartet No. 2 (1994)
William Grant Still – Incidental music from The Prince and the Mermaid for string quartet
- Song of the Sea
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – Quintet in G Minor for Piano and Strings (1893)
- Allegro con moto
IV. Allegro molto
The UCalgary String Quartet is the quartet in residence at the University of Calgary. The quartet has performed nationally and internationally and has been recorded by CBC Radio for regional and national broadcasts, Radio Europa, and the National Radio of Portugal. It has collaborated with many distinguished artists, such as a CBC Radio recording and national broadcast with Anton Kuerti, pianist.
The UCalgary String Quartet was nominated for the Instrumental Group of the Year Award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards and at the Western Canadian Music Awards (2008). The nominated recording, on the American label MSR Classics, is titled Far Behind I Left My Country – Klezmer and East European Folk Music – Arranged and Composed by Edmond Agopian. The recording has received enthusiastic reviews from radio broadcasters and magazines, including Fanfare Magazine (USA).
In 2020, after the horrific death of George Floyd, a series of concerts of music by Black composers was initiated at the University of Calgary in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The UCalgary String Quartet has been part and integral part of this series.
The quartet’s repertoire covers a wide spectrum of music. As the resident string quartet at the University of Calgary, it has commissioned and premiered works by UCalgary composition faculty, graduate students and alumni. The quartet has performed the entire Beethoven, Shostakovich and Bartok string quartet cycles.