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String quartet with mission to reinvigorate chamber music makes Madison debut at the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Shannon Hall Dec. 8

Posted: 11/29/23

String quartet with mission to reinvigorate chamber music makes Madison debut at the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Shannon Hall Dec. 8

The Isidore String Quartet — and its mission to reinvigorate chamber music repertoire with new approaches to classical music and an embrace of contemporary classical music — comes to Shannon Hall in Madison on Dec. 8 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Appearing as part of the Wisconsin Union Theater’s (WUT’s) Classical Series, formerly called the Concert Series, the ensemble will perform:

  • String Quartet No. 2, “Awakening” composed by Billy Childs in 2012
  • String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465, “Dissonance” composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 1700s
  • String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2 composed by Johannes Brahms in 1873

The quartet's foundational mission — to revisit, rediscover and reinvigorate chamber music repertory — continually guides its program choices and the ensemble’s life's work.

The artists embodying this mission in the quartet include violinists Adrian Steele and Phoenix Avalon, violist Devin Moore and cellist Joshua McClendon.

Moore describes the artists as having clicked immediately, with three having met while performing together at a music festival and the fourth person having joined the ensemble after meeting the existing trio at the Juilliard School.

The quartet named its ensemble in part as a tribute to Isidore Cohen, a former second violinist in the Juilliard String Quartet, and in part for a Russian Orthodox monk, named Isidore, whom history often credits with the creation of Russian vodka.

“We like to do weird repertoire and do weird performances, things that are maybe unorthodox or experimental,” Moore said in an interview with the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. “We like to invite our audiences on stage sometimes to walk around or come up close to us or sit and lie down on the ground, just trying to break out of some of the constraints that we’ve put in a place as an industry, to open up people’s minds, to like a freer expression and consumption of art, which I think is, in turn, affecting how people exist in their day-to-day lives.”

This performance is presented by WUT and the student-led Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Performing Arts Committee (PAC). It is part of the David and Kato Perlman Chamber Music Series and is made possible by the David and Kato Perlman Chamber Music Fund.

Patrons can save 20% on WUT season events through the build-your-own subscription, with options of three to five events for 15% off or six or more events for a 20% discount.

Other upcoming WUT season events include international music, jazz and chamber music.

Theater-goers can purchase tickets to the Isidore String Quartet performance and other WUT season events online, at the Memorial Union Box Office or by phone at (608) 265-2787.

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