EbŠne String Quartet to showcase expressive innovation

Katie Kasper

The world-renowned EbŠne String Quartet will perform the second concert in this season’s Artist Series Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.
Described by classical music publication The Strad Magazine as “interpreters of rare understanding and communicative flair,” the quartet not only beautifully embodies the timeless classical music that its members perform, but it also adds depth to its repertoire by flirting with contemporary music, performing works by artists from Amadeus to Miles Davis.
“In everything we have been willing to do musically, during all that time spent practicing Haydn, Beethoven or Bartok, there has always been a concealed dream of improvising and creating a new approach to playing string quartet,” they said on their official Web site.
The quartet consists of Pierre Colombet and Gabriel Le Magadure on violin, Mathieu Herzog on viola, and Rapha‰l Merlin playing cello.
Awarding the quartet the Belmont Prize for Contemporary Music in 2005, the board of trustees of the Forberg-Schneider-Stiftung Foundation stated, “Their richly hued playing combines fastidious accuracy and unbridled musicality, allowing them to probe compositional audacities with urgency and depth of expression.”
In other words, they are musical masterminds.
The quartet has received a number of other prestigious honors, including first prize at the ARD Competition in Munich in 2004 and an invitation to join the circle of artists supported by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in 2007.
Gramophone magazine recently awarded the quartet “Recording of the Year” for their Debussy, Ravel and Fauré recording, which was also named “Chamber Music Record of the Year” at the German ECHO Klassik music awards.
The group will begin their 2010 tour of North America at Lawrence University on Friday Feb. 5. From there they will travel to Colombia, Toronto, Tucson, Los Angeles, New York, Burlington, and Athens, ending their tour in Washington D.C. on Feb. 23.
Tickets for the concert, at $20-22 for adults, $17-19 for seniors, and $15-17 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office.
Note: One of the violinists will not be performing due to a medical emergency, so the program for Friday’s show consists of a string trio and a string duo.