Music and Theater Arts Lecturer Elena Ruehr had big shoes to fill when composing her string quartet commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet: Mozart's and Beethoven's.
Premiered recently by the quartet in San Jose, Calif., the piece is Ruehr's response to Mozart's "Dissonance" Quartet and Beethoven's Quartet Op. 59, No. 3 ("Razumovsky"). According to reviewer Richard Scheinin, "Ruehr's quartet sounds as if it has soaked up essential qualities from both: shifting light-dark moods and textures; great dancing rhythms; and, best of all, aria-like songs."
The quartet will present the Boston premiere of Ruehr's String Quartet No. 4 in a concert on Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. The concert will also feature the Mozart and Beethoven works.
Since its inception in 1996, the Cypress String Quartet has commissioned and premiered more than 25 works from many of America's leading composers. The quartet makes this music part of its regular touring repertoire.
Ruehr's works have also been commissioned and performed internationally by the Borromeo and Shanghai string quartets, Naumburg winning baritone Stephen Salters, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and The Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble. Her dance opera "Toussaint Before the Spirits" was performed to critical acclaim at Boston's Opera Unlimited Festival in 2003, and her work "Shimmer," for string orchestra, is available on Albany Records performed by the Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble.
The Cypress quartet will be in residence at MIT from April 6-9. The residency was funded in part by the MIT Artists-in-Residence Program of the Office of the Arts and Music and Theater Arts at MIT.
The concert is presented by the Guest Artist Series and the Artist-in-Residence Program. For more information, call 617-452-2394.