School Spotlight: Apollo Quartet

by Claire Philpott, Minnesota Public Radio
October 15, 2013
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ST. PAUL, Minn. — School Spotlight highlights outstanding Minnesota school- and student-music ensembles during the academic year. Through this feature, Classical MPR hopes to expose listeners to the great music being made by young musicians across the state, and to generate more support for music education.

The audio featured today is of the Apollo Quartet competing in the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition at Sundin Music Hall at Hamline University. Students at the Artaria Chamber Music School (ACMS), the Apollo Quartet members are violinists Harris Bernstein and Jason Shu, violist Anders Cornell, and cellist Micah Cheng.

7:15 a.m.

  • Franz Josef Haydn: String Quartet No. 53 in D major Op. 64, No. 5 "The Lark"—I. Allegro moderato .

7:15 p.m.

  • Franz Schubert: Quartettsatz in C minor D.703—Allegro assai

Click on the link at the right to hear an additional selection from the Apollo Quartet.

  • Samuel Barber: String Quartet in B minor Op.11—I. Molto allegro e appassionanto.

The Artaria Chamber Music School is a nationally recognized institution founded in 2002 by the Saint Paul-based Artaria String Quartet. Advanced string students audition to become part of the program and, if accepted, they are placed into quartets where they work to develop valuable communication, rehearsal and time-management skills essential to cultivating a successful and enjoyable chamber music experience.

The ensembles meet for coaching and occasional master classes every Saturday at the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Evangelist in Saint Paul. Students receive coaching from the members of Artaria and are given opportunities to attend and participate in master classes with nationally renowned string quartets such as the Saint Lawrence String Quartet, Pacifica String Quartet and Miami String Quartet. All ACMS quartets are required to participate in ACMS concerts throughout the year and many ACMS quartets also participate in and win awards at competitions locally and across the country.

In addition to maintaining a year-round program, the Artaria Quartet also runs the Stringwood Chamber Music Festival every June in Lanesboro, Minn. Each year has a different theme; summer 2013 celebrated the music of Antonín Dvořák, who wrote his "American" string quartet during his time in the Czech haven of Spillville, Iowa. Founded in 2000, this intensive camp brings together fine aspiring chamber musicians ages 12 to 19 at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center for two weeks. Attendees are mentored by the Artaria Quartet, Stringwood alumni, and guest artists. Students spend their time rehearsing, performing in local venues and enjoying the beautiful environment and fun activities that Eagle Bluff and Lanesboro provide.

The Apollo Quartet in particular has been performing and receiving coaching at ACMS for three years, and during that time, it has participated in two national competitions. The Apollo Quartet is going for a third time and hoping to win a prize this time around.

To find out more about the Artaria Chamber Music School, including how to audition, go to www.acms.artaria.us

To find out more about Stringwood Chamber Music Festival go to www.stringwood.com

Upcoming Artaria Chamber Music School Fall Concert: Friday November 8th 2013, 7:00 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Evangelist, 60 Kent Street in Saint Paul (Portland at Kent Street).

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