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SU’s Setnor School of Music to present Degas String Quartet Oct. 10 at The Warehouse
SU’s Setnor School of Music to present Degas String Quartet Oct. 10 at The WarehouseSeptember 29, 2006Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
As part of a week of residency activities in the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Degas String Quartet will perform a free concert Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m. in the main auditorium at The Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St.
The program includes Franz Schubert’s “Quintet in C Major” with guest cellist and Setnor School affiliate artist Caroline Stinson and a preview performance of associate professor Andrew Waggoner’s new quartet “My Penelope (String Quartet no. 4).” Waggoner is composer in residence at the Setnor School and chair of the Department of Composition and Theory. Commissioned by the Degas Quartet, “My Penelope” will officially premiere Nov. 3 at NOCCA Riverfront in New Orleans, as part of a benefit concert for the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
“My Penelope” (String Quartet no. 4) was composed in spring and summer 2006 for the Degas Quartet. The title is Waggoner’s personal take on Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey,” as related to recent events in the city of New Orleans. Waggoner was born in New Orleans and studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. “The Odyssey” concerns the events that befall Greek hero Odysseus in his journey back to his native land (Ithaca), wife Penelope and son Telemachus after the fall of Troy.
“Last fall, I saw New Orleans — my first love and the seat of my soul — bereft, ravaged, surrounded by suitors, buying time with her weaving while binding the wounds inflicted by both natural disaster and human incompetence,” says Waggoner. “I came to see that, while my own anguish was limited to the empathetic and nostalgic, all of us who either came from or to New Orleans were grieving the separation from our city and longing for its return and to return to it. Thus, `My Penelope,’ our Penelope — for what other city would this mythic reference have as much resonance? New Orleans even has a street named after Penelope’s son. The piece falls into four movements, each linked to the other through a ritornello, returning idea, associated with home and homecoming.”
Since its founding in 1999, the Degas String Quartet has emerged as the most exciting young string quartet on stage today. Renowned for energetic performances of the classical and contemporary quartet repertoire, the quartet plays with vibrant intensity and exceptional musicianship.
Stinson performs regularly as a cello recitalist. She is a member of the CELLO quartet; the Athabasca String Trio; the new music and improvisation ensemble Open End, which she founded with husband Waggoner; and most recently as a new member of the Contrasts Quartet. She studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Hochschule fur Musik, Koln. Stinson is a coach for the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program and concert artist faculty at Kean University in New Jersey.
Waggoner has studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the Eastman School of Music and Cornell University. In 2005, he was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship Award for research and artistic creation. His music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles worldwide. In addition to his concert works, Waggoner has composed extensively for theatre and film, and is an active violinist.
For more information, contact Waggoner at (315) 443-5892.