by Carlyn Kessler
On Sunday, May 7 at 3:00 pm, bassoonist Barrick Stees and the Mosa Quartet will present a program of chamber music by Schubert, Ravel, and Miguel del Aguila as part of the Arts Renaissance Tremont series. A freewill offering will be received.
Barrick Stees, Assistant Principal Bassoon of The Cleveland Orchestra, teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. An esteemed educator, he received the U.S. Secretary of Education’s Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award. He has released several albums and has performed extensively both nationally and internationally.
The Mosa Quartet — James Thompson and Brian Allen, violins, Christine Wu, viola, and Anna Hurt, cello — includes current students and alumni of the Cleveland Institute of Music who have studied with Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson.
“We initially formed our quartet in August 2016 to learn new repertoire and further our understanding of quartet playing,” cellist Anna Hurt said in a recent conversation. “Because we are all good friends and love playing with each other, it makes the experience that much more rewarding. We all seem to be on the same wavelength in rehearsals as we focus on the musicality, colors, phrasing, and life of the works. After rehearsing the fundamentals, it’s wonderful to be in the moment and make music together.”
The Quartet chose favorite works from the standard repertoire for the first half of the program. “We all wanted to have a chance to learn and perform the Ravel Quartet, and the Schubert Quartettsatz is a perfect addition to a concert.”
The second half of the program will feature Malambo and Nostalgica, works for bassoon and string quartet that Barrick Stees commissioned from Miguel del Aguila. In an email, Stees noted that the composer was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and draws influences from his South American roots. He has been nominated three times for a Grammy Award, and his accolades include the Kennedy Center’s Friedheim Award, the New Music USA/Music Alive Award, and a Copland Foundation award.
“I’ve known Miguel for twenty years,” Stees wrote. “I became familiar with his music long before that, and when a chance to commission a piece for bassoon and string quartet came up, I thought of him. He wrote Nostalgica for me in 1998. He has revised it for this performance, which will be the world premiere of this version.” Stees went on to describe Aguila’s unique style. “Miguel’s writing involves Latin rhythms and harmonies that we don’t encounter very often in The Cleveland Orchestra. He makes the bassoon imitate a blues singer in one piece or a conga drummer in another. I’m grateful to the Mosa Quartet for working with me on this repertoire.”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com May 1, 2017.
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