(Posted March 29, 2016)

The Sirius Quartet will play at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 8, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-JTIX (5849).
The Sirius Quartet will play at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 8, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-JTIX (5849).

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Stretching the limits defining what a traditional string quartet is, Sirius Quartet combines exhilarating musical choices with improvisational skills worthy of jazz musicians in a Juniata College concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 8, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-JTIX (5849). General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

Emerging from New York's vibrant "downtown" music scene, the classically trained members of Sirius Quartet push beyond the repertoire preferred by most quartets. The musicians perform many of their own compositions and have premiered works by avant-garde composers such as Uri Caine, Richard Einhorn and Phil Kline.

All four members of the quartet are not content to stay within the confines of a written score. They often improvise extensively during performances and use extended techniques not often seen in the classical repertoire.

Their playlist reads like a Who's Who" of modernist composers such as Fred Frith, John Cage, Elliot Sharp and Henry Cowell. In addition they play works by such jazz composers as Bob Belden, George Gershwin and guitarist John Patitucci.
The group has recorded five albums, including "Elliot Sharp: String Quartets 2002-2007," "Racing Mind," and "Cityscapes."
One music critic in Germany wrote: "It takes only seconds at the beginning of the concert to feel that there are four instruments which open doors to rooms full of sound which are closed even for the modern classical string quartet literature."
The members of Sirius Quartet are:

--Violinist Fung Chern Hwei is Malaysian, and grew up playing Chinese pop music, Bollywood scores, Malay dance music and heavy metal. More recently, he says he's influenced by hip hop, jazz, Middle Eastern belly dances and baroque classical music.

--Violinist Gregor Huebner was born in Germany and has a thriving career as a composer as such ensembles as the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia Virtuosi. He also collaborates with jazz pianist Richie Bierach.

--Violist Ron Lawrence is a founding member of Sirius Quartet and has played with countless modernist musicians. A short list of his collaborators includes saxophonist Anthony Braxton, pianist Anthony Davis, violinist Regina Carter, guitarist James Blood Ulmer and vocalist Cassandra Wilson.

--Cellist Jeremy Harman has been the principal cellist for the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles and has performed onstage with Sting, Peter Gabriel, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige and Elton John, He also plays electric cello in the group The Black Planets and plays guitar in the rock group To The Wolves.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.