Szymanowski quartet returns to Beall
[caption id="attachment_10178" align="aligncenter" width="480"] The Syzmanowski Quartet performs January 27. Photo: Marco Borggreve[/caption] Ventures into old Vienna and the contemporary soundscapes of New York mark the "Flights of Imagination" in the winter series of ChamberMusic@Beall concerts January 27-April 7. The Sunday concert series is a joint production of the Oregon Bach Festival and University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. Returning to Eugene January 27 for the first time since two bravura concerts at the 2006 Oregon Bach Festival, the Szymanowski Quartet of Poland balances deft performances of the treasured repertoire with new works, especially those of their countryman and namesake, Karol Szymanowski. The quartet's program includes Mendelssohn's deeply moving final string quartet No. 6, with its echoes of Beethoven's "Serioso" quartet; Szymanowski's exotic, atmospheric Nocturne and Tarantella; and Dvorak's quartet No. 13, a varied and richly expressive work that demonstrates the composer's gift for melody. Portland Baroque Orchestra director Monica Huggett, a small orchestra of PBO players, and stellar Irish-Nigerian bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku team to explore the world of “The Viennese Bass” on February 17. The program includes familiar treasures from Mozart and Haydn as well as lesser-known gems of the 18th century that feature Nwanoku's distinctive double bass. New York-based Brooklyn Rider arrives April 7 with its genre-defying, wildly eclectic repertoire. The quartet's gripping performance style has attracted legions of fans from the worlds of classical, contemporary, and rock music, and this concert, ranging from Beethoven to originals, offers worthy evidence. Concerts take place at 3 pm in Beall Concert Hal on the UO campus and are preceded by a “Musical Insights” talk by UO School of Music and Dance faculty members in Thelma Schnitzer Rehearsal Hall (music room 163). The series is sponsored by the Valley River Inn and KLCC public radio. Tickets are available online, by phone, or in person via the Hult Center or University of Oregon ticket offices. For more program information look online at oregonbachfestival.com/events/chamber or download the season brochure (pdf).