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The Calder Quartet, shown posing on a Los Angeles sidewalk, will perform at MIT on Feb. 25.
The Calder Quartet, shown posing on a Los Angeles sidewalk, will perform at MIT on Feb. 25.
Photo / Wally Skalij

String quartet gives free concert

The Calder String Quartet, a young, highly accomplished Los Angeles-based ensemble, will perform Haydn's Quartet Op. 76, No. 1; Debussy's String Quartet; and Bartok's Quartet No. 1 in a free concert at Kresge Auditorium on Friday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m.

The quartet--Benjamin Jacobson, Eric Byers and Boston natives Jonathan Moerschel and Andrew Bulbrook--has created a sensation with its combination of traditional chamber music and the avant-garde. The group has been praised for its "splendor and substance" (Alan Rich, L.A. Weekly) and its "accomplished and touching performance" (Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times). The quartet is the resident quartet of the graduate program at The Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles.

The Calder Quartet takes its name from the American sculptor and mobile artist, Alexander Calder, whose sculpture, "The Big Sail," a 40-foot-high painted steel stabile, graces MIT's McDermott Court. Calder's work inspired Jean-Paul Sartre to write: "His one aim is to create chords and cadences of unknown movements."

Baritone Milnes to conduct master classes

MIT choir members and vocal students will have the opportunity to work with one of the foremost operatic baritones of his generation, Sherrill Milnes, who will be artist in residence at MIT from February 24-26.

On Friday, Feb. 25, a public video presentation about Milnes' career will be screened from noon to 1 p.m. That evening, Milnes will conduct an open master class with MIT students from 7 to 9 p.m. Both events are in Killian Hall.

Milnes studied at Drake University and Northwestern University before joining the Boris Goldovsky Opera Company in 1960. He made his major debuts in 1964, first with the New York City Opera and later the same year at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he sang 654 performances over 35 years.

Hailed as one of the greatest Verdi baritones of the modern era, Milnes has performed roles as diverse as Judge Turpin in Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" and Mozart's Don Giovanni. Milnes has also performed on more than 50 recordings and 10 videos. His autobiography, "American Aria: From Farm Boy to Opera Star" was published in 1998.

Director Max Hafler will speak about his craft

Actor/director Max Hafler will present a talk titled "Faustus: Adapting and Directing the Elizabethan Bad Boy, Christopher Marlowe" on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. in Room 14E-304. Hafler teaches in the theater program at the National University of Ireland, in Galway. His radio play, "Albion Tower," written in rap, verse and prose, won the U.K. Commission for Racial Equality's Radio Award.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 16, 2005 (download PDF).

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