The Arneis Quartet - violinists Heather Braun and Rose Drucker, violist Daniel Doña, and cellist Agnes Kim - embarks on a fascinating literary and musical excursion this month at Boston University's Morse Auditorium. The quartet's March 31 concert, "Poetry and Music: T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, Beethoven and Gubaidulina," is the first of two events exploring connections between T.S. Eliot’s late cycle, published in 1943, and pieces by Beethoven, Gubaidulina, Stravinsky, Berger, and List. At both presentations, Christopher Ricks, an Eliot scholar and co-director of the BU Editorial Institute, will lecture on Eliot’s poems.
The first program includes Beethoven's String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, and Sofia Gubaidulina's Hommage à T. S. Eliot. Gubaidulina composed the latter work between 1987 and 1991, adopting its texts from Eliot's Four Quartets and its instrumentation from Schubert's Octet. For this performance, the Arneis players will be joined by soprano Tony Arnold, clarinetist Rane Moore, bassoonist Adrian Morejon, French-horn player Whitacre Hill, and bassist Randall Zigler.
The second program, to be held at Morse Auditorium on April 21, is to feature the premiere of Andrew List's String Quartet No. 5, "Time Cycles," alongside Stravinsky's The Dove Descending and Jonathan Berger's String Trio No. 2. Both concerts are co-sponsored by the BU Center for the Humanities and BU School of Music. (More details here.)
Speaking of Tony Arnold, congratulations are in order. The bold soprano, who performed earlier this month with International Contemporary Ensemble members at the Boston Conservatory, and with [sound icon] at Fenway Center (Boston Globe review by David Weininger here), shared news yesterday that the Boston Conservatory has named her a 2015-2016 Artist in Residence.
Her residency, says the official statement, "will encompass the creation of new works using students all the disciplines, including work with composers, singers, instrumentalists, poets, and actors. In addition, she will teach music history and composition, conduct the Boston Conservatory's new music ensemble, and perform as part of the New Music Festival in February 2016."
Good news, for sure.