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Fry Street Quartet Starts Year Off With January Performances

Thursday, Jan. 09, 2014

Fry Street Quartet January concert poster

The Fry Street Quartet, Utah State University professional string quartet in residence, performs in Salt Lake City Jan. 12 as part of the NOVA Series and repeats the program in Logan Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., USU Performance Hall.

Utah State University’s Department of Music presents the Fry Street Quartet in a performance Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performance Hall on the USU Logan campus. That concert is a repeat of the same program the quartet presents as part of the NOVA series in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah’s Libby Gardner Hall on Sunday, Jan. 12.

NOVA co-sponsored the commissioned work by Michael Ellison that is featured on the program. Ellison’s String Quartet No. 3 (“Fiddlin”) was written for the Fry Street Quartet in 2012. The Jan. 14 concert is the Logan premiere of the work.

Ellison based the piece on the idea of fiddling and riffs across traditions, primarily using North American bluegrass fiddle and Turkish/Balkan kemençe styles as starting points for a work that deals with tradition, its endlessly revitalizing energy and its integration into a contemporary, highly “rhythmic” compositional language.

“The piece is very exciting and effective in its amalgamation of fiddling riffs across traditions, resulting in a kind of global folk music,” said Rebecca McFaul, violinist for the Fry Street Quartet and professor at the Caine College of the Arts at USU. “Some of this music is abstract and contemporary, and some of it is recognizably traditional.”

Fiddlin” is in 11 movements that gain in length and development as the piece continues, and finishes with a movement entitled “Bad Bad Blues.”

“The Fry Street Quartet is thrilled to have this new work in its repertoire, and we’ve very much enjoyed working with Michael,” said McFaul.

The program finishes with a jewel of the chamber music repertoire, Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, which will be performed with pianist Jason Hardink, artistic director of the NOVA Chamber Music Series and principal symphony keyboard of the Utah Symphony.

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Writer: Whitney Schulte, 435-797-9203,

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

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