Portland String Quartet performs with soprano Christina Astrachan

The Portland String Quartet will perform a concert of Mozart, Dvorak and Thomas Myron, with guest soprano Christina Astrachan, at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 4, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. The public is invited to attend free of charge. For more information, call the Olin Arts Center at 207-786-6135.

The program opens with a performance of Mozart’s String Quartet in D major, K. 499, followed by Thomas Myron’s Kaethe Kollwitz for Soprano and String Quartet, based on poems by Muriel Rukeyser. After a brief intermission, the program concludes with Antonin Dvorak’s Quartet for Strings in F major, Op. 94 (“American”).

Described by The New York Times as a “model of experienced ensemble playing,” the Portland String Quartet is composed of violinists Steven Kecskemethy and Ron Lantz, violist Julia Adams and cellist Paul Ross. The ensemble’s recording of George Chadwick’s Piano Quintet with Virginia Eskin was named 1989 Classical Recording of the Year by The New York Times, and their recording of Bloch: The Five String Quartets was named outstanding chamber music release of 1983-84 by The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.

The quartet members have been performing, teaching and recording together since 1969. Artists in residence at Colby College since 1986, their chamber music workshops gained international acclaim when the United Nations educational division sponsored their string quartet workshops in Caracas, Venezuela, in the 1970s. Their 14 recordings on the Arabesque and Northeastern labels include string quartets by Antonin Dvorak, Franz Schubert and Richard Strauss.

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