Charles Wadsworth hosts an evening of chamber music at the Columbia Museum of Art
on Thursday, February 5 at 7:00 p.m. featuring associate artistic director Edward Arron, cello, Anton Nel, piano and the St. Lawrence String Quartet performing Gian Carlo Menotti’s Suite for Two Cellos and Piano, Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6 and Cesar Frank’s Piano Quintet in F minor.
Season passes are $150 or $35 for each concert. A single concert ticket is $30 for members. A member season pass with the after-concert reception is $175 and without the reception is $125. After-concert receptions are available to Museum members only. Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, any student with a valid ID can purchase tickets for $5 on the day of the concert up to 7:00 p.m. at the Museum. All seats are on a first-come, first-served basis. To purchase tickets, visit columbiamuseum.org or call 803.343.0482.
The next concerts in the series are Thursday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. and Thursday, April 30 at 7:00 p.m.
"We continue to celebrate Charles’ 80th birthday season in grand style with one of the world’s finest string quartets and dear friends of Charles, the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The St. Lawrence, who are certainly no strangers to Columbia, will play Beethoven’s extraordinary String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6 and will also be joined by world-renowned pianist, Anton Nel, for a performance of the Cesar Franck's powerful Piano Quintet. The program will begin with a very beautiful and charming Suite for Two Cellos and Piano by the late composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who was the founder of the Spoleto Festival, and was, of course, a friend and colleague of Charles," Arron said.
Artistic director and cellist Edward Arron is rapidly gaining recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances and creative programming. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Earlier that year, he performed Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos with Yo-Yo Ma and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the opening night gala of the Caramoor International Festival. Since that time, he has appeared in recital, as a soloist with orchestra, and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
Walking on stage together over 1900 times in the past 19 years, the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ) has established itself among the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation. This ensemble includes Geoff Nuttall, violin, Scott St. John, violin, Lesley Robertson, viola and Christopher Costanza, cello. Having studied with the Emerson, Tokyo and Juilliard String Quartets, members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet are passionate educators. Since 1998, they have held the position of Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University. This residency includes working with students of music as well as extensive collaborations with other faculty and departments using music to explore a myriad of topics. Recent collaborations have involved the School of Medicine, School of Education, and Jewish Studies. In addition to their appointment at Stanford, the SLSQ has served as visiting artists to the University of Toronto since 1995 and will inaugurate a new visiting chamber music residency at Arizona State University this season. The SLSQ is committed to bringing music to less traditional venues outside the classroom or concert hall. Whether at Lincoln Center or an elementary school classroom, the St. Lawrence players maintain a strong desire to share the wonders of chamber music with their listeners, a characteristic that led them to a more informal performance style than one might expect from chamber musicians. Alex Ross of The New Yorker magazine writes, "the St. Lawrence are remarkable not simply for the quality of their music making, exalted as it is, but for the joy they take in the act of connection."
Anton Nel, winner of the first prize in the 1987 Naumburg International Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall enjoys a remarkable and multifaceted career that has taken him throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and South Africa. Following an auspicious debut at the age of 12 with Beethoven’s C Major Concerto after only two years of study, the Johannesburg native captured first prizes in all the major South African competitions. While still a teenager, he toured his native country extensively and became a well-known radio and television personality. A student of Adolph Hallis, he made his European debut in France in 1982, and in the same year graduated with highest distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He came to the United States in 1983, attending the University of Cincinnati, where he pursued his Master and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees under Bela Siki and Frank Weinstock. In addition to garnering many awards from his alma mater during this three-year period, he was a prizewinner at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition in England and won several first prizes at the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition in Palm Desert in 1986.
Charles Wadsworth has been hailed as “the man behind the rebirth of chamber music.” He served as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s founding artistic director for 20 seasons and served in leading roles with the Midday Concerts at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, and the Spoleto USA chamber concert series in Charleston. The French government named Wadsworth a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters and the Italian government awarded him a Cavaliere Ufficiale in the Order of Merit. Wadsworth received an honorary doctorate from Converse College, Connecticut College and the University of South Carolina and was awarded New York’s highest cultural award, the Handel Medallion, and South Carolina’s highest cultural award, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award.