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Quartet plays with classical emotion

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The Calder Quartet, an ensemble of USC music students, got its name from the American Sculptor Alexander Calder. "We like his mobiles," they said. Ben Jacobson, violinist, is a music major in the Master's program at USC and has been with the group from the beginning, almost five years ago. / photo by Jennifer Contreras

The Calder Quartet, an ensemble of USC music students, got its name from the American Sculptor Alexander Calder. “We like his mobiles,” they said. Ben Jacobson, violinist, is a music major in the Master’s program at USC and has been with the group from the beginning, almost five years ago. / photo by Jennifer Contreras

by Jennifer Dodd
Staff Writer

Founders Auditorium was filled with the beautiful sounds of music on Nov. 26, when the Calder String Quartet visited the University of La Verne.

The quartet is comprised of violinists Benjamin Jacobson, Andrew Bulbrook, Jonathan Moerschel and cellist Eric Byers, all 22 years old.

The concert, part of the “Faculty and Friends” fall concert Series, also featured artist-in-residence and member of the adjunct piano faculty, Timothy Durkovic.

The concert consisted of three movements with three different pieces of music composed by Shostakovich, Beethoven and Brahms.

The first movement contained the modern Russian music of Shostakovich, Op. 57 in G minor, which showcased Durkovic’s exuberant piano playing and the quintet’s lovely violin and cello harmonies.

The music captivated the 65 people in attendance, setting the mood of the evening.

The second movement, sans Durkovic, featured the mesmerizing talent of just the quartet, playing a classic and romantic piece from Beethoven, Op. 18, No. 6.

The emotive piece of music took the audience from quick, energizing tempos, to a more melancholy and melodic state, back to a dramatic, varied and energized conclusion.

In the third and final movement, Durkovic rejoined the musicians to regale the audience with Brahms Op. 34 in F minor.

This classic piano quintet was the perfect finale for the evening, evoking a romantic sense of emotion.

Durkovic’s piano playing beautifully accompanied the multiple notes and the thick textures from the string quartet.

Andrea Oleas, a music student at Mt. San Antonio Community College said, “It was a great performance. The music really conveyed a lot of emotion and strength.”

Rich Campos, who admitted to never attending a concert like this before, said, “It was cool; I never would normally listen to this kind of music, but I found I really enjoyed the concert.”

Timothy Durkovic and the Calder String Quartet are both affiliated with the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

Durkovic received his Master’s degree from the institution and was honored with both the Keyboard Ensemble Award and the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award.

The Calder String Quartet is the winner of the Thornton School of Music Chamber Music Award.

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