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Years: 20162015201420132012201120102009

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The West End String Quartet Seminar, an exciting new chamber music program at The Hartt School Community Division, continues its series of master classes for Hartt Community Division string chamber groups this semester on Friday, February 4 at 7:30 PM in room 410/412 of the Fuller Music Center (Hartt's main building) on the University of Hartford campus at 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Additional master classes will take place on Friday, March 26, and Friday, April 8, at locations in the Fuller Music Center to be announced. All sessions are free of charge for participating HCD chamber ensembles, and also are free and open to the public for observation.

The West End String Quartet (WESQ) came together in the fall of 2005 because of their shared passion for chamber music. Since then, WESQ has been entertaining audiences across New England with an exciting and varied repertoire of chamber music. Current members are Jessica Meyer and Sarah Washburn, violins; John Biatowas, viola; and Carlynn Savot, cello.

WESQ strives to bring new and uncommon repertoire to their concerts, pairing them with traditional works. Each concert includes spoken notes that give a personal perspective to each piece, making unfamiliar works accessible to new audiences as well as seasoned classical music-lovers. Last season, the Quartet indulged their love of both new and traditional repertoire, kicking off the year with an appearance on the Hartford Composers Concert Series at Capital Community College. In the summer of 2010, WESQ traveled to the Soundfest Chamber Music Festival, where they taught and studied works by Haydn, Mozart, and Brahms.

Strong advocates of contemporary music, the quartet collaborated with Ruby Fulton in 2006 for the first performance of The Slow Revolution. Repeat performances of this work were sponsored by an Encore grant from the ACF. Recent premiere performances include James T. Lindsay's Second String Quartet and Dan Román's Sonora Complexidad. In the summer of 2007, the quartet performed at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado as part of the Young Artist Program. In addition to concerts with Festival musicians, the Quartet presented outreach and children's concerts.

In past seasons, the quartet has performed at Trinity College, St. James's Episcopal Church in West Hartford, as part of the River Crossings Concert Series, and with the Arts Institute of Western Maine. The Quartet also collaborated with Wesleyan University faculty and members of Bang on a Can All-Stars and Connecticut Opera on the Ives Vocal Marathon project led by Neely Bruce at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

For more information about the West End String Quartet, please visit their web site, at www.westendstringquartet.com.

Photo credit: Jonathan Olson
Pictured: West End String Quartet

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