The Power of Four
February 3, 2024 | 2:00 PM
Cambridge Public Library - Main Campus
This concert is generously sponsored by LESLEY MILOVICH
The string quartet, comprising two violins, one viola, and one cello, has been the foundation of classical chamber music for centuries. But how did we get there? And what is it about this particular instrumentation that is so special? To help answer these questions, carefully chosen selections of chamber music will be performed in chronological order by musicians of the Boston Festival Orchestra. Come to the Cambridge Public Library on February 3 to learn about the history, characteristics, and possibilities of the universally beloved string quartet.
Join BFO Artistic Director Alyssa Wang, BFO musicians, and guest artists in an intimate dialogue about what it means to experience art, and how it can help us to relate to the world around us. Enjoy a brief reception following the concert.
This concert is free, but registration is required!
J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major (Prelude)
W.A. Mozart, Duet for Violin & Viola No. 1 in G Major (Allegro)
Boccherini, String Trio in C major, Op. 6, No. 6 (Allegro Assai)
Haydn, String Quartet Op. 64, No. 4 in G Major, (Allegro con brio)
Beethoven, String Quartet Op. 18, No. 4 in C Minor (Allegro ma non tanto)
Debussy, String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10 (Animé et très décidé)
Kurt Munstedt, violin
Alyssa Wang, violin
Noriko Futagami, viola
Aron Zelkowicz, cello
Violist Noriko Futagami performs with some of the area’s most celebrated ensembles. She is a member of the Radius Ensemble, voted “Boston’s Best Classical Ensemble of 2016” by the Improper Bostonian, as well as working with the Boston Musica Viva, Emmanuel Music, Cantata Singers and Winsor Music on a regular basis. She is principal violist for Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and section violist with Rhode Island Philharmonic, Portland Symphony Orchestra. As principal violist for Albany Symphony, she has participated in several Grammy nominated recordings, winning in 2014 John Corigliano’s Conjurer/Vocalise. Since moving to Boston in 2011, she has become a fixture of the freelance scene, performing regularly with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera Orchestra, Boston Festival Orchestra and Monadnock Festival, as well as Boston Ballet and Boston Landmarks Orchestras. She is a faculty member at Brown University.
Violinist Kurt Munstedt joined the first violin section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in September of 2023. He previously performed as Assistant Principal second violin of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. During the summers, he plays Principal second violin in the Boston Festival Orchestra. Originally from Needham, Massachusetts, Kurt holds Bachelor of Music degrees in violin and audio recording from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon. His principal teachers include Joel Smirnoff and Andres Cardenes. A dedicated educator and chamber musician, Kurt taught violin at the University of New Orleans from 2019-2023, and founded its quartet-in-residence, The Lott String Quartet. He founded the period performance collective Rogue Baroque and the crossover quartet Radio Bird, producing their 2021 debut album, “A Radio Bird Xmas”. In 2022, he toured with Hamilton the musical in their string quartet and appeared with The Who at JazzFest. Additionally, he has performed with the Manhattan Chamber Players, Lakes Area Music Festival, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, and Pacific Music Festival. As a Baroque Violinist, he has played with the Tafelmusik Institute in Toronto, and The Sebastians in NYC. Kurt is an advocate for reaching audiences in non-traditional locations, and has brought music to museums, prisons, libraries, hospitals, and public gardens.
With a broad career as a cellist, performer, teacher and administrator, Aron Zelkowicz has
cultivated a repertoire both classical and ethnic, familiar and obscure. He serves as the Founder
and Director of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, which presents rare and diverse works
from Jewish musical traditions. Dr. Zelkowicz serves as the producer for the Festival’s ongoing CD series, "Russian Jewish Classics”, which also features his talents as a cellist. These recordings (dubbed "first-rate" by Fanfare Magazine) represent a multi-year project devoted to the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music and its affiliated Russian composers. As a cellist, Aron Zelkowicz has performed at the Tanglewood, Banff, Aspen, Sarasota, Chautauqua, Colorado, Cactus Pear and Sunflower festivals, with members of the Emerson and Cleveland Quartets, as Principal Cello of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, with the Toronto Symphony and National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, and on international tours with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He is currently based in Boston and performs throughout the New England region as a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra, the ProArte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), as Associate Principal Cello of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and as Principal Cello of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Boston Festival Orchestra.
Alyssa Wang is a passionate and versatile conductor, violinist, and composer. A recipient of the 2023 Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and the 2022 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award, Alyssa has enjoyed exploring diverse creative paths with a focus on audience inclusivity and engagement. She is the Co-Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Conductor of the Boston Festival Orchestra. In 2021, she joined the Boston Ballet as Assistant Conductor, conducting full ballet productions throughout the year and serving as Music Director for the annual Next Generation project with Boston Ballet School. As a violinist, Alyssa has soloed with ensembles across the country and is the newest member musician of the Boston Chamber Music Society. She has been featured in numerous contemporary recording projects, such as Carlos Simon’s Grammy-nominated album, Requiem for the Enslaved (Decca), Nancy Galbraith’s Violin Concerto with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and David Post’s Violin Sonata (Centaur). As a composer, she premiered her own violin concerto, Swept Away, with the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, who commissioned the work, in February 2023. In addition to her life in music, Alyssa is an avid photographer, writer, and social dancer. Learn more about Alyssa at alyssa-wang.com.