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Four Squared: Two Quartets Combine for Juniata College Concert

(Posted November 1, 2011)

The So Percussion Quartet in concert. The Juniata date is at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 11 in Rosenberger Auditorium.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Exploring modern classical music is always an adventure, but audiences at Juniata College will get the chance to double the intensity of the experience by seeing the So Percussion quartet and the Calder String Quartet in concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11, 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.

Both So Percussion and the Calder Quartet are on the cutting edge of the chamber music revival, as both groups favor experimental and avant-garde music from modernist and contemporary composers. The groups will perform as individual groups first at the Juniata concert, but each ensemble will combine in the final part of the program to perform music written specifically for the combined combos.

The program will open with the percussionists playing "Slow Wave," by Daniel Wohl, "Mallet Quartet," by Steve Reich. The next selection will be "Untitled," by Tristan Perich, written specifically for both So and Calder quartets.

After intermission, the Calder Quartet will join the percussionists to perform "Lelekovice," by Fred Frith and "Oblique Music for Four Plus 4" by Jason Treuting.

"On stage they completely transform and generate energy as dangerously electric as a live wire. They create a thrilling, dynamic sound that is at once bold, fearless, poignant, rich and soulful."
The Hollywood Reporter

So Percussion formed in 1999 while the members were students at the Yale University School of Music. The musicians play almost any kind of drum, as well as mallet instruments such as marimba and vibraphone. They also can play glockenspiel, melodica, metal, toy piano and duct tape.

The group has released three albums, "So Percussion," "Drumming" and Amid the Noise." Many contemporary composers have written compositions for them, including works such as "The So-called Laws of Nature," by David Lang and "Mallet Symphony," by Steve Reich.

The members of So Percussion are: Josh Quillen, a former member of the Akron Symphony Orchestra and a steel drum devotee; Adam Sliwinski, who performs as a soloist and specializes in the marimba; Jason Treuting, who performs in a duo, Alligator Eats Fish, and composes for the group; and Eric Beach, who teaches at the University of Bridgeport and at the Yale School of Music.

The Calder Quartet specializes in performing traditional classical music, yet also incorporates work by modern innovators in every concert. The quartet often performs work by such acclaimed modernists as Terry Riley, Christopher Rouse and Thomas Ade. The group recently released an album of Rouse's works, called "Transfiguration." They also released an album of Riley's composition "Trio and Quartet."

The members of Calder Quartet are: Benjamin Jacobson, violin; Andrew Bulbrook, violin; Jonathan Moerschel, viola; and Eric Byers, cello.

A critic for the Hollywood Reporter wrote, "On stage they completely transform and generate energy as dangerously electric as a live wire. They create a thrilling, dynamic sound that is at once bold, fearless, poignant, rich and soulful."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.