Cecilia String Quartet prepares for Pro Series farewell

October 20, 2017

Members of the Cecilia quartet sit on a sofa in front the glowing light of a window, holding their instruments
The Cecilia String Quartet will perform in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. (Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)

BRANDON – A return engagement by the Cecilia String Quartet will also be the final Pro Series appearance for the ensemble.

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, the group returns to the Lorne Watson Recital Hall stage with a programme that includes a favourite standard of the quartet repertoire – Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18 No. 3 – as well as one of the works on the group’s JUNO-nominated recording – Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Op. 44 No.1. Joining them for Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet Op. 115 will be special guest and much lauded Canadian clarinetist, James Campbell.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to perform the Brahms Quintet with such an esteemed artist as Jim Campbell,” said the musicians in a joint release. “We’ve performed it with him a few times before, and he has taught us a lot about the piece.”

Prize winners at competitions in Osaka and Bordeaux, and the first-prize winning ensemble at the 2010 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Cecilia String Quartet is pleased to be playing one last time as an entity in the Lorne Watson, as they appreciated the warm intimacy of the venue as well as the audience’s reception during their last performance here.

“We remember the Lorne Watson Recital Hall as being the most ideal setting for a chamber music performance: the intimate ambiance and superb acoustics,” they said. “And we’re very much looking forward to being back in Brandon.”

Headshot of James Campbell posing in front of a tree, holding his clarinet

JUNO award winning clarinetist James Campbell will perform with the Cecial String Quartet as a special guest.

Formed in 2004 when they were students at the University of Toronto, the Cecilia String Quartet’s four musicians are now on faculty at their alma mater, and the quartet is the Ensemble-in-Residence. The quartet has given performances around the globe and has had countless broadcasts of its performances aired not only on Canada’s CBC airwaves, but also on public radio in Australia, Great Britain and Germany. With several recordings to its credit on the Analekta label – the one dedicated to Mendelssohn works was lauded as one of Gramophone Magazine’s 10 Best Mendelssohn Recordings – the ensemble has created a unique concert series entitled Xenia, which is designed for children on the autism spectrum and their families.

Campbell is currently on faculty at Indiana University. The much lauded musician, whose honours include a JUNO Award, an Order of Canada and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, has more than 40 recordings to his credit and has given performances with the classical music world’s most respected ensembles. A dedicated proponent of new music, he has commissioned more than 30 new works during his career.

“It is with much pleasure that I welcome back the Cecilia String Quartet to the School of Music. They have made a lasting impression on the Canadian soundscape,” said Greg Gatien, the Dean of Music at BU and the Artistic Director of the Pro Series.

“For our Pro Series audience, it will be a rare chance to hear these four talented musicians play together in our midst, and to have James Campbell collaborate with them will add to the evening’s enjoyment.”

The concert will begin on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall, in the Queen Elizabeth II Music Building at Brandon University. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for students, seniors and alumni. Tickets for this and all Pro Series presentations are available at the door or in advance in the Main Office in the School of Music.

The next Pro Series presentation will feature the Chair of the Piano Department at the Eastman School of Music, pianist Douglas Humpherys, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. His programme includes Haydn’s Fantasia in C Major H. XVII: 4, Schubert’s Sonata in A minor D. 784, Ravel’s Sonatine, Mozart’s Adagio in B minor K. 540, and Liszt’s Sonata in B minor S. 178.

The School of Music gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of Manitoba, through a Consolidated Arts Programming Grant through Culture, Heritage and Tourism.

Please note that seating in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall is limited and that programmes are subject to change. For up-to-date listing of pro series and student performances, please visit BrandonU.ca/Music/Events/Category/Performances.

Please contact Joyce Burba in the School of Music’s Main Office in advance with any accessibility considerations at 204-727-9631 or at Burba@BrandonU.ca.