The Rimsky-Korsikov String Quartet returns to play The Old School House in Qualicum Beach Saturday at 2 p.m.

Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet returns to TOSH

Renowned Russian ensemble headlines Saturday show; pianist Elizabeth Clarke takes stage for Music on Sunday performance

After giving over last weekend to the annual Harvest of Music Festival, The Old School House Arts Centre resumes its Music on Sunday series this week with a pair of concerts — including a return engagement of the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet from St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet concert will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The following day, the Music on Sunday series will showcase Victoria-based pianist Elizabeth Clarke. Her recital, also beginning at 2:30 p.m., will feature works by Beethoven, Britten, Rachmaninoff and Schumann.

The Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet is one of the world’s leading and longest tenured string quartets.  Their triumphant North American tour last year resulted in enthusiastic calls for return engagements in every city that they visited.

The quartet, formed in 1939, is a monument to Russian musical history. Present members Mikhail Bondarev (violin), Ekaterina Belisova (violin), Alexei Popov (viola) and Anton Andreev (cello) are graduates of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory who, by virtue of a shared background steeped in the grand tradition of Russian music making, achieve organic and convincing interpretations of a diverse repertoire of masterworks, Russian classics, and contemporary masters.

The Quartet champions the music of Russian composers with the core of their repertoire being the music of Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Taneyev and Stravinsky. They also perform lesser-known masterworks of Glinka, Alabiev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Gretchaninov, Miaskovsky and Mossolov. The group is an exponent of contemporary composers, having recently premiered Hans Werner Henze’s Piano Quintet at the Berliner Philharmonie. Furthermore, they have been active in presenting premiere performances of young composers in Saint Petersburg.

Since 1989, the group has been actively touring abroad and has made appearances at numerous prestigious music festivals. At home, in Saint Petersburg they have appeared at “The Music Spring,” “From Vanguard to the Present Days,” “Ways of Sound,” and “Five Evenings” festivals; in Germany, they have performed at the Wurzer Sommerkonzerte and the Wachenheimer Serenade; in Great Britain, at the Oundle International Festival; in Italy, at the Festival Internazionale della Chitarra (Syracuse), Festival Internazionale della Chitarra Nicolo Paganini (Parma), and Palazzo del Priggione (Venice); in Finland at the festival of chamber music in Imatra; in Yugoslavia at Nomus; and in Poland at the Festival of Organ and Chamber Music in Kamen Pomorsky.

The Quartet regularly collaborates with outstanding musicians from around the world, and has made many professional sound recordings released on labels in German, the United States, France, and in Russian. Saturday’s program will include works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Glazunov.

Admission to each performance is $16 per person. For tickets and info, call 250-752-6133 or visit www.theoldschoolhouse.org. The Old School House Arts Centre is located at 122 Fern Road West in Qualicum Beach.

— Submitted by TOSH

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