by Delaney Meyers
Credo Music’s official summer concert season of over 12 performances will kick off on Tuesday, July 3 at 7:30 pm with a performance by the Arianna String Quartet at Oberlin Conservatory’s Kulas Recital Hall. Returning as festival faculty for the third time, the Quartet has programmed chamber music fan favorites as well as some less-often heard pieces.
The first piece will be Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 1. In a recent phone conversation, Arianna violist Joanna Mendoza said that this quartet is “not so well known.” She explained that the early composition was written “during a good time in Shostakovich’s life, when he’d just had his first baby, Maxim. It has a real freshness and brightness to it that his later works don’t.” She added that, out of his fifteen quartets, “it sounds least like the Shostakovich many listeners have come to expect.”
The Quartet will be also be performing a new work composed for them by jazz pianist, Webster University professor, and friend Kim Portnoy. This commission came about after first violinist John McGrosso heard Portnoy’s jazz trio perform a version of it at a house concert and thought, “What would this be like for string quartet?”