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This year marks the 40th and final season for Newtown Friends of Music (NFM). Since 1978, NFM has presented more than 200 live, world-class classical chamber ensembles on the stage at Edmond Town Hall. Its goal has always been to enlighten, entertain, enchant, and lift the spirits of all who attended by hosting world renowned musicians who delivered “exquisite music, superbly performed.”
As announced recently, a concert this month by Daedalus Quartet and Brentano Quartet will be the finale for NFM. The performance is scheduled for Sunday, October 15, at 3 pm.
Following longstanding tradition, it will be presented on the stage of Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street, and will be followed by a reception with the musicians, to which all ticket holders are invited.
Since its inception in 1992, Brentano String Quartet — Misha Amory, viola; Serena Canin, violin; Nina Lee, cello; and Mark Steinberg, violin — has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raved The Independent, London’s online newspaper; The New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism”; The Philadelphia Inquirer praises its “seemingly infallible instincts for finding the center of gravity in every phrase and musical gesture”; and The Times of London opined “the Brentanos are a magnificent string quartet…This was wonderful, selfless music-making.”
Within a few years of its formation, the quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and Naumburg Chamber Music Award, and in 1996 the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center invited its members to be the inaugural members of Chamber Music Society Two, a program which was to become a coveted distinction for chamber groups and individuals.
The quartet had its first European tour in 1997, and was honored in the UK with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut. That debut recital was at London’s Wigmore Hall, and the quartet has continued its warm relationship with Wigmore, appearing there regularly and serving as the hall’s quartet-in-residence in the 2000-01 season.
In recent seasons the quartet has appeared throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia. It has performed in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House. The quartet has participated in summer festivals such as Aspen, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Edinburgh Festival, Kuhmo Festival in Finland, Taos School of Music, and Caramoor Festival.
The quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” the intended recipient of his famous love confession.
Praised by The New Yorker as “a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets,” Daedalus Quartet has established itself as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. Members are Matilda Kaul and Min-Young Kim, violins; Thomas Kraines, cello; and Jessica Thompson, viola.
Since winning the top prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2001, the Daedalus has impressed critics and listeners alike with the security, technical finish, interpretive unity, and sheer gusto of its performances.
The New York Times has praised the Daedalus Quartet’s “insightful and vibrant” Haydn, the “impressive intensity” of its Beethoven, the “luminous” Berg, and the “riveting focus” of its Dutilleux.
The Washington Post in turn has acclaimed the quartet’s performance of Mendelssohn for its “rockets of blistering virtuosity,” while The Houston Chronicle has described the “silvery beauty” of its Schubert and the “magic that hushed the audience” when Ravel was played.
Since its founding the Daedalus Quartet has performed in many of the world’s leading musical venues. In the United States and Canada these include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center (Great Performers series), the Library of Congress, Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, and Boston’s Gardner Museum, as well as on major series in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.
Abroad the ensemble has been heard in such famed locations as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, and in leading venues in Japan.
The program on October 15 will include quartet and octet works by Haydn, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn.
Tickets are $25 each, cash or check only. Students K-12 are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. Students with student ID are also admitted free of charge.
The box office at Edmond Town Hall will open at 2 pm the afternoon of the concert. Reservations can be made by calling 203-426-6470 or visiting newtownfriendsofmusic.org.
Parking is free behind Edmond Town Hall and the facility is handicap accessible.