Award-winning musicians were brought to the doorsteps of UC San Diego students with ArtPower!’s Concert in Close Quarters Oct. 20 when the Vienna-based Hugo Wolf Quartet performed at Sixth College. The concert series is designed to bring the experience of chamber music listening back to its roots with intimate performances in residence halls.
“Tonight is just one of the many ways ArtPower! breaks barriers to connect a variety of communities with talented artists from around the globe,” said Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell, program and audience development manager for ArtPower!. “I have one of the greatest jobs of connecting students with visiting artists such as the innovative Hugo Wolf Quartet.”
Founded in Vienna in 1993, the Hugo Wolf quartet has been a fixture on the international chamber music scene and has entertained audiences around the globe. The group gave a lively performance at the Sixth College “Dogg House” of standard and not-so-standard repertoire that included compositions from Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. Between pieces, the musicians spoke with students and provided tidbits of chamber music history.
“The quartet was discovered by accident and now it is a vital form of composition,” cellist Florian Berner said. “It is the composition of four instruments and is often written by composers to express their inner most feelings.”
The Concert in Close Quarters events, sometimes standing-room only, allow visiting ensembles to connect with UC San Diego students in a casual environment where classical masters and contemporary composers can be discovered.
Sixth College freshman Mary Nuguyen came to the event because her resident advisor recommended it. “I like this type of music and it’s so close to home,” she said.
During their performance at Sixth College, the award-winning quartet was eager to share their knowledge of music with students. “The composition is like a sketch,” said violinist Régis Bringolf. “You have to add a lot.”
Berner added, “It is the duty of the performer to interpret a piece of music, it’s like theatre.”
Concerts in Close Quarters is part of ArtPower!’s engagement program which is designed to extend the artistic experience above and beyond a performance or film screening by providing a personal and substantive interaction with internationally renowned artists. The program offers students of all ages access to creative experiences through a variety of campus and community engagement programs that include community dinners, student matinees and dance master classes.
“It’s part of ArtPower’s mission to make art accessible to a variety of communities,” said Martin Wollesen, artistic director of ArtPower! “We’re not only committed to student engagement and access to the arts, we are committed to developing innovative and comprehensive partnerships with campus and community departments, groups, organizations and individual artists. An artist may only be in town for one performance, but through an ArtPower! engagement partnership, the impact can be lasting.”
ArtPower! engages K-12 students through events such as the Student Matinee Program to be held Nov. 15. Through the film screening of “The Interuptors,” advanced media students at San Diego’s High Tech High will have an active viewing experience followed by discussions with ArtPower! film curator, Rebecca Webb.
On campus, students have the opportunity to take the UC San Diego Master Class, where they’ll receive personal instruction from world-class dancers and performers at the peak of their careers, such as the innovative Chunky Move Dance Company. The next Master Class will be with the Cloud Gate 2 Dance Company on Feb. 21.
Other forms of ArtPower! engagement include community dinners where ArtPower! partners with the UC San Diego International Center to offer a pairing of home-cooked cuisine from a variety of cultures and world-class performances.
ArtPower!’s other partners include the San Diego Asian Film Festival, San Diego Film Festival, Sixth College, Student Affairs, transcenDANCE, the UC San Diego department of music and the UC San Diego department of theatre and dance, among others.
ArtPower!’s engagement programs are made possible through private donations. Funding support for the Concerts in Close Quarters is provided by Murray and Elaine Galinson. In order to continue and grow the program in the 2012-2013 ArtPower! season, additional funding is needed. To join the donors who help sustain ArtPower! programming and support the critical role art plays in the life of young people, go to: http://www.artpwr.com/sections/donate/pages/giving
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