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Harlem Quartet Family Concert: Beethoven & Blues


Family activities for spring could include a productive trip to Concord, home of the Transcendentalists and Revolutionary War history,  where a  jazz-inspired program, including music from Beethoven to Marsalis, will be performed by the award-winning Harlem Quartet at the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts on Sunday, April 1st at 2:00 in the afternoon. BSO violinist Wendy Putnam’s Concord Chamber Music Society will sponsor “Beethoven to the Blues” as its annual community concert. Tickets include (children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult) refreshments, an opportunity to meet the musicians, and admission to the EUCA Spring Open Studios, where more than 60 artists are “in residence” in an attractive, Neo-Colonial-cum-Art Deco former school which was built in 1929 as the town’s first steel-beam structure. It is on the National Register. On the lawn stands an array of sculptures.

The concert program includes La Oracion del Toreo by Joaquín Turina, String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18 by Beethoven, several compositions by Wynton Marsalis, including Rampart Street Row House Rag, and Billy “Sweet Pea” Strayhorn’s Take the “A” Train.

Harlem Quartet (file photo)

Only a little more than a month ago, an Intelligencer review noted, “Harlem Quartet evinced a larger-than-life silhouette of Mozart as it played its final concert as the resident ensemble in NEC’s Professional String Quartet Training Program.” (See the complete review here.) The group has been praised for its “panache” by the New York Times, and for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent,” by the Cincinnati Enquirer. It is comprised of the most accomplished young musicians of this generation, all winners of the prestigious Sphinx Competition, and has established its mission to advance diversity in classical music by engaging young and new audiences with a varied repertoire. As the 2010 resident ensemble of the New England Conservatory’s String Quartet Training Program, the Harlem Quartet brings boundless energy and enthusiasm to chamber classics and contemporary works alike, having collaborated with jazz greats such as Chick Corea, Gary Burton and Wynton Marsalis. In June the quartet will perform, with the Chicago Sinfonietta, the world premiere of West Side Story for string quartet and orchestra, arranged by Randall Craig Fleischer.

The Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts is located at 40 Stow Street in Concord, near the town center. The Concord stop on the MBTA commuter rail line from North Station and Porter Square is two blocks away. Free parking is available adjacent to the facility and on the street, with municipal lots nearby behind the Middlesex Savings Bank and Concord Post Office. The facility is handicapped accessible. Open seating tickets are $15 for general adult admission and $5 students age over 12.

Ticketing information, directions and a program description can be found online here or by calling the Concord Chamber Music Society at (978)371-9667. Seating is limited.

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