September 15, 2003

Vega String Quartet begins visiting residency

Sally Corbett

Beethoven once said, “I know no lovelier delight than the string quartet.” This season the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta’s (ECMSA) Emerson Series will delight Schwartz Center audiences with the “Complete String Quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven” performed by the Vega String Quartet.

The quartet features world-class players: Wendy Chen, violin; Jessica Wu, violin; Yinzi Kong, viola; and Guang Wang, cello. The six-part lecture and concert series, organized by Mary Emerson Professor of Piano and ECMSA Artistic Director William Ransom, begins Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

As the first-ever Emory Coca-Cola Artists-in-Residence, the members of Vega String Quartet also will offer programs in the ECMSA Family and Noontime Series at the Carlos Museum, “Performers Up Close” discussions for the Department of Music, and outreach to select Atlanta school children.

Named for the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the Vega String Quartet is one of the brightest stars among the new generation of chamber music ensembles. Its style, sound and excitement have attracted international attention for more than a decade. In 1991, they made an early entrance to the performance circuit, capturing the Young Artists Prize at the 40th International Munich Competition.

The quartet captured four of the top six prizes at the 1999 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition and first prizes at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, the Carmel Chamber Music Competition and the National Society of Arts and Letters String Quartet Competition. Vega’s members studied with the Amadeus, American, Cleveland, Emerson, Guarneri, Juilliard, Orion and Tokyo string quartets.

Prior to the premiere of the quartet series will be “Performers Up Close: Vega String Quartet” on Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in Emerson Concert Hall and Vega’s ECMSA noontime concert at the Carlos Museum Sept. 19; both are free and open to the public.

The Emerson Series will be presented in the Schwartz Center’s Emerson Concert Hall on select Fridays with a lecture at 7 p.m., followed by a concert at 8 p.m. and a free reception during intermission. General admission tickets are $20; $16 for faculty and staff; free for students. Tickets can be ordered from the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050. Dates and programs follow:

Lecturer: Lewis Lockwood, leading Beethoven scholar and author of Beethoven: The Music and the Life. Hosted by WABE-FM programdirector Lois Reitzes.
Program I: Op. 18, No. 6; Op. 59, No. 3; Op. 135 (A book and CD signing follows the concert).

Lecturer: Stephen Crist, Department of Music Chair.
Program II: Op. 127; Op. 14,
No. 1; Op. 59, No. 2.

Nov. 21
Lecturer: Crist.
Program III: Op. 95; Op. 18,
No. 5; Op. 132.

Feb. 13
Lecturer: Andrew Rangell, internationally renowned pianist and instructor.
Program IV: Op. 18, No. 1;
Op. 18, No. 3; Op. 131.

March 19
Lecturer: Lee Orr, coordinator of music history and literature at Georgia State University.
Program V: Op. 18, No. 2;
Op. 74; Op. 130.

April 16
Lecturer: Benjamin Arnold, director of the School of Music, University of Kentucky.
Program VI: Op. 18, No. 4;
Op. 133; Op. 59, No. 1.