Coastal Concerts will welcome the return of the Danish String Quartet - three Danes and one Norwegian - whose extraordinary artistry and infectious spirit made them instant audience favorites on their 2010 visit. This time, these self-styled musical Vikings, praised for their adventurous and profound interpretations of the string quartet repertoire, will take the stage at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, in downtown Lewes. It will be a chance to catch these dynamic musicians before they move on to perform the next day at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Since their Lewes debut, violinists Rune Sørensen and Frederik Øland, violist Asbjørn Nørgaard and cellist Fredrik Sjölin - all friends in their early 30s - have won additional honors and accolades. Most recently, the group has been named a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and awarded a three-year appointment to the coveted Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Program.
The quartet will begin the afternoon in a popular vein with a transcription for string quartet of Scandinavian folk tunes, music which has become something of a calling card for them. Next will be a performance of Mendelssohn’s "String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13," a piece dating from the composer’s late teens yet widely acknowledged as a masterwork.
Mendelssohn took inspiration from the model of Beethoven’s late quartets, one of which the Danes will offer on the second part of the program, the "String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132," completed after Beethoven’s recovery from a serious illness. The work’s centerpiece is a sublime, heartfelt adagio the composer titled “A Convalescent’s Hymn of Thanksgiving to the Divinity.”
The 2 p.m. matinee will take place at wheelchair-accessible Bethel United Methodist Church Hall, Fourth and Market streets, Lewes. Tickets are $30. Ages 10-18, as well as one adult per youth, are admitted free with advance reservations; call toll-free 888-212-6458. Also, at the door only, students 19 years and older can purchase discounted tickets for $10 upon presentation of a valid college ID.
For online purchases and more information, visit coastalconcerts.org. Tickets may also be obtained at the door on the afternoon of the performance (all forms of payment accepted) or in advance (cash only) at the Lewes Chamber of Commerce and at Lewes Gourmet/Puzzles on Front Street
Besides its Saturday matinee performance, the Danish String Quartet will give outreach concerts, sponsored by Coastal Concerts, for students at the Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences and The Jefferson School in Georgetown.
Coastal Concerts is a nonprofit organization promoting classical music appreciation in central Delmarva. This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Danish String Quartet engagement is a Delaware Performing Arts Presenters Initiative project, made possible, in part, through funding by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.