The Amernet String Quartet is heralded as one of today’s most talented string quartets. Described as “complex” with an “old world flavor”, the group has been revered for its “exceptional technical ability” and “musical integrity.” Returning to San Miguel after their raved-about debut for Pro Musica several seasons ago, they will perform two concerts, Friday, February 24th and Saturday, February 25th at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo. Prepare to be dazzled by the flawless intonation of one of America’s greatest ensembles.
The Amernet’s performance schedule has taken the quartet across the Americas, to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. They have collaborated with many of today’s most prominent artists and ensembles including the Tokyo and Ying quartets. Currently the Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami, the Amernet is joined this season by second violinist Tomas Cotik as they push forward with their new avant-garde album, Dissenting Voices released by New Focus Recordings. It features rarely-heard works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Shostakovich, and Mieczysław Weinberg, one of the most important, though rarely-cited, Soviet composers.
On Friday, the Amernet will perform works by Mozart, Grieg and Schulhoff. Mozart’s only accepted commission, the "Prussian Quartets", were composed for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the King of Prussia, who was an excellent cellist. We will hear the D Major Quartet, with its prominent and truly impressive cello passages, rivalled only by the Boccherini and Haydn quartets. Grieg's Quartet No. 1, composed at a farm in the Hardanger region, home of the Hardanger fiddle and fiddling style, inspired Grieg’s own unique folk-music style. At a time when serial music, folk-influenced music, and experimental approaches to tonality were being explored, Schulhoff supported avant-garde music and enthusiastically played ragtime. He was Jewish and died tragically in a Nazi concentration camp.
On Saturday, the concert will include Haydn, Dvořák and Lutosławski. The "Rider", a nickname for Haydn’s Quartet in G Minor, derives its moniker from the last movement which rhythmically opens with an evocative ‘contest’ between the first violin and the others. Dvořák's String Quartet in G Major was composed at the end of his stay in America; as Director of the National Conservatory of Music, he explored American music by incorporating African-American and Native American music in his compositions. Polish composer Lutosławski lived through tragedy; his father was executed by a firing squad prior to trial for his loyalties and later his compositions were censured by Stalin’s regime. Despite this, he went on to receive Poland's highest honor, the Order of the White Eagle. We will hear his String Quartet composed in 1964.
Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.