Distinguished Artist Series Features Famed Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields

Feb. 11, 2004

by Richard Veit

Baylor University will have the rare privilege of hosting the world-renowned Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble for its final event on the 2003-2004 Distinguished Artist Series. The famed octet for strings, led by Kenneth Sillito, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building.

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble was created in 1967 to perform the larger chamber works -- from quintets to octets -- with players who customarily work together, instead of the usual string quartet with additional guests. Drawn from the principal players of London's Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra, the Chamber Ensemble is currently on a lengthy performance tour of the United States.

The Baylor program will open with G-Major Sextet, Op. 36, the second of the two string sextets written by Johannes Brahms, followed by Prelude and Scherzo (Two Pieces for String Octet), Op. 11, by Dmitri Shostakovich, and Felix Mendelssohn's Octet for Strings, Op. 20. A chamber work in which the instruments combine in an almost orchestral fashion, its Scherzo is the earliest example of Mendelssohn's "fairy" music, which would reappear a few months later in his overture to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Tickets for the Distinguished Artist Series concert are $15, with students, senior citizens, and Baylor faculty and staff admitted for $10. For ticket information, call the Baylor School of Music at (254) 710-1161.

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