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(c) Schott Promotion / Katharina Freiberger
Peak Performances @ Montclair,
with the generous support of
the Polish Cultural Institut,

Krzysztof Penderecki

Shanghai Quartet

Saturday, February 21, 2009, 8:00 PM

Alexander Kasser Theater
Montclair State University
One Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ
Tickets: $15 Tel: 973.655.5112 or online

In celebration of Krzysztof Penderecki's 75th birthday and the Quartet's 25th, Shanghai performs a new composition by one of the world's most astonishing and influential living composers.

The music of Krzysztof Penderecki is both stunningly original and refreshingly accessible. Celebrated primarily for his large-scale compositions, Penderecki has limited his output in the chamber music genre to a few select pieces. The Quartet No.3 thus represents a significant addition to the composer's oeuvre. The work is infused with the rich tonal palette and unique, lush harmonies that have made Penderecki one of the world's most innovative and exceptional composers. The Quartet No.3 is in part an autobiographical work, containing motifs pertaining to the composer's childhood, including as one of its themes a Hutsul folk melody. As Penderecki describes it, "while composing the quartet, I remembered that melody, which I had frequently heard played by my father. I made use of this theme, which grew in successive variations and almost took over my whole composition". The entire piece represents a sentimental voyage by the composer.

Also featured on the evening's program are Debussy's String Quartet in G minor Op.10 and Mozart's D minor Quartet k. 421.

The Shanghai Quartet has earned a reputation as one of the world's outstanding string quartets, performing in the world's leading concert halls. Currently in residence at Montclair State University, this premiere ensemble was formed in Shanghai 25 years ago and is known for passionate musicality, astounding technique, and multicultural innovations. The Shanghai Quartet has worked with the world's most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America, and Asia.

Quartet No.3 was commissioned by Peak Performances @ Montclair and the University of Richmond in honor of the Shanghai Quartet's 25th Anniversary and Maestro Penderecki's 75th Birthday. Generous support has been provided by the Polish Cultural Institute.

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