April 19, 2014  

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Technologically Advanced String Quartet Comes to Hattiesburg

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The Borromeo Quartet will perform in Hattiesburg on Oct. 20. (Submitted photo)

The critically acclaimed Borromeo String Quartet will share its virtuosic talents with the Hattiesburg community in a special concert set for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20 at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

One of the most sought-after string quartets in the world, Borromeo performs more than 100 concerts of classical and contemporary music across three continents each season.

Outside of its musical artistry, what makes this quartet unique is the fact that they perform from original manuscripts displayed to them via computer monitors. Instead of paper musical parts, the group uses MacBooks mounted on special music stands, paging forward and back with foot pedals.

“It’s an incredible experience, watching the handwriting of Beethoven as it passes by you,” said Nicholas Kitchen, the group’s first violinist.

The Borromeo Quartet has been heard in the world’s most illustrious concert halls, including the Concertgebouw, Opera Bastille and Wigmore Hall. In the United States, the group is a favorite at Weill Recital Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center and the National Gallery.

The quartet is regularly invited to perform in distinguished chamber music series across the United States and abroad and has participated in the Spoleto Festival in Italy, the Orlando Festival in the Netherlands, the Stavanger Festival in Norway, Music Isle Festival in Korea, and in North America at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Caramoor, Santa Fe, Rockport, Cape Cod and Vancouver chamber music festivals, among others.

“We are indeed fortunate to have this outstanding ensemble here in Hattiesburg for a free concert,” said Dr. Alexander Russakovsky, associate professor of cello at Southern Miss. Russakovsky also serves as an organizer of the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music’s Connoisseur Series, of which the Borromeo performance is a part.

 “The congregation of Westminster Presbyterian has graciously allowed us to fill their beautiful sanctuary with music,” said Russakovsky. “It was such a wonderful venue during last summer’s FestivalSouth, that we are excited to return with exceptional events like the Borromeo Quartet during the year.”

The program includes an arrangement of Bach’s “Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor,” Beethoven’s “Grosse Fugue for String Quartet” and Schubert’s masterwork “Death and the Maiden.”

Thanks to a grant by Partners for the Arts, this performance is presented free-of-charge. Seating is limited. Westminster Presbyterian Church is located just off Hardy Street on North 25th Avenue. More information about the quartet may be found at www.borromeoquartet.org.