What is even better than a string quartet? Two world renowned string quartets featured on the same stage in one exciting evening. This weekend Texas Performing Arts is making it happen.
On Friday, Sept. 28 at McCullough Theater, The Shanghai Quartet of the Shanghai Conservatory and The Miro Quartet of Austin's very own Butler School of Music will come together in an orgy of delicious sound to bring a concert of three string octets including the world premiere of composer, conductor and Butler School of Music faculty member, Dan Welcher's Museon Polemos.
"I pit two string quartets against each other, each with its own musical language and moods and behavior patterns, and then force them to interact."
Commissioned by Texas Performing Arts with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Museon Polemos was conceived as an homage to string ballets of the '30s and '40s, like Stravinsky's Apollon Musagète (my personal favorite Stravinsky ballet).
One of the most prolific composers working today, Welcher was recognized as a 2012 winner in Music from the Academy of Arts and Letters, honoring outstanding artistic achievement and his own unique voice.
"Museon Polemos is about tribal behavior and what is needed to overcome it,” says Welcher. “I pit two string quartets against each other, each with its own musical language and moods and behavior patterns, and then force them to interact. The result is in dispute, right up to the end."
Also on Friday's program will be what inevitably happens whenever there are two string quartets in the same room: The Felix Mendelssohn String Octet, which is quite possibly the most beautiful piece of string octet music that anyone ever has, and ever will, compose at the ripe age of sixteen.
These are fantastic players and this is a fantastic concert program. Join Texas Performing Arts for the unique opportunity to not only witness two outstanding quartets, but the world premiere of a dynamic new work.
Tickets to the Miro Quartet and Shanghai Quartet's Sept. 28 performance range from $10 - $28 and are available through Texas Performing Arts.