The Chamber Music Concert series will host the Szymanowski Quartet for two concerts Halloween weekend. Photo courtesy of the Szymanowski Quartet - Photo courtesy of Chamber Music Concerts

The Szymanowski String Quartet

They are young and they are getting attention for the way they approach the chamber music literature. Chamber Music Concerts will present the Szymanowski String Quartet in concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Both performances will take place at the Southern Oregon University Music Recital Hall, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

Friday's performance will feature Bela Bartok's "Folk Dances"; Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110; Haydn's String Quartet in G Major, Op. 77 No. 1; and Szymanowski's "Nocturne and Tarantella," Op. 28.

Saturday's concert will include Beethoven's String Quartet in G Major, Op. 18 No. 2; Szymanowski's String Quartet No. 2, Op. 56; and Schubert's String Quartet in D Minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden."

The Szymanowski Quartet was founded in Warsaw in 1995. In May 2001 the ensemble was selected by BBC Radio 3 to participate in the New Generation Artists Scheme for the next seasons. Participation included frequent studio recordings for the BBC, as well as concerts in various BBC series.

The group won awards at competitions, including the "Premio Vittorio Gui" in Florence and the 1997 "In Memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich" in Hanover. In 1999 the quartet won both the second prize and the audience prize at the International Chamber Music Competitions in Osaka and Melbourne.

The last few seasons have included invitations to festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Würzberg Mozart Festival, Bregenzer and Schwetzinger Festspiele, Niedersächsische Musiktage and the Festivals of Chester, Huddersfield, Luxembourg and Lockenhaus.

The Quartet has performed concerts in Paris, Lyon, Grenoble and Bremen, and made an Australian tour of 10 concerts under the auspices of Musica Viva. The Szymanowski Quartet has made debuts at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Perth Festival, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the BBC Proms and the Grünewald Hall in Stockholm.

They were invited back to perform at London's Wigmore Hall, The City of London and Chester Festivals, and concerts in Manchester, Winterthur, Bonn, Hanover and Santiago di Compostela. The Szymanowski Quartet made its debut at the Bath Festival in May 2004.

Since the fall of 2000, the Szymanowski Quartet has been "Quartet in Residence" and teaching chamber music at the Musikhochschule Hanover.

Paul Cutts wrote in The Strad, "This Warsaw foursome has superb technical control, innate musicality and an extraordinary sense of ensemble. Couple that with a deep understanding of their repertoire and an involvement that communicates itself electrifyingly to an audience, and the Szymanowski Quartet bears the hallmark of greatness. I guarantee you will be hearing a lot more from this gifted young group."

Tickets are $26/$30, and $5 for youth 22 and under. Season tickets are still available with packages starting at $100. See ChamberMusicConcerts.org or call the office at 552-6154 for details.

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