Dover Quartet wows audience during first Delaware appearance

Series to feature Trio Zimbalist March 2
February 9, 2024

Coastal Concerts’ 25th season continued this past weekend with an outstanding performance Feb. 3 by the renowned Dover Quartet and clarinetist David Shifrin.

In the middle of a busy North American tour that includes performances in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall, this was the Dover Quartet’s very first stop in Delaware. Founded in 2008, this sought-after ensemble has garnered prestigious awards, made numerous recordings and received Grammy nominations. On Saturday afternoon, their talents and enthusiasm were evident in the first half of the program that featured works by Turina and Janacek.

Winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1987 and the Avery Fisher Prize in 2000, David Shifrin has a wealth of experience and is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator and educator. Following intermission, Shifrin joined the quartet to perform Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581. Mozart was just 33 years old when he composed this piece in 1789, and it is the only surviving clarinet quintet among his known works. The audience simply loved it!

Concert goer Barry Katz lives in Manhattan and is an avid patron of theater, opera and the arts. “In New York City, there are almost endless opportunities to attend concerts and enjoy the world’s finest musicians,” Katz said. “There is no experience, at least that I’m aware of, that quite matches what Coastal Concerts does. The musicians are among the finest anywhere, the program choices are terrific, and, as an audience, we are all just so close to them – it’s as if they are playing in my own living room. My husband and I now schedule at least one of our visits to our family in Lewes to coincide with a Coastal Concerts program.”

Prior to the concert, Lewes Mayor Andrew Williams made a special presentation from the City of Lewes to Coastal Concerts Board Chair Richard Scalenghe in recognition of Coastal Concerts’ 25th Anniversary Season. Williams humorously noted that he was very pleased to see the number of guests in the Bethel United Methodist Church Hall was significantly larger than those in attendance at a typical Lewes City Council meeting!

Community outreach and education are important components of the Coastal Concerts mission. The day before the concert, Feb. 2, the Dover Quartet performed an Outreach Recital in the Elkins-Archibald Atrium at CAMP Rehoboth. The room was filled with enthusiastic area residents, and the quartet brought down the house with their music and stories about the compositions they performed.

Coastal Concerts is always proud to host Lani Spahr and Performance Insights at most of its concerts to further build a sense of classical music appreciation with the audience. Spahr’s half-hour presentation Feb. 3 focused on the evolution of the clarinet from its early beginnings in the 15th century to its present-day form. Beginning an hour prior to concerts and offered free as part of the concert admission, his presentations are both entertaining and informative, helping to make that day’s concert even more enjoyable for the audience.

The next concert on the 2023-24 calendar will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 2, at Bethel UMC, as Coastal Concerts hosts Trio Zimbalist featuring piano, cello and violin. The trio has performed all over the world and is praised for its liveliness and vigor of playing. Lani Spahr’s Performance Insights talk will begin at 1 p.m. Tickets for this performance may be purchased in advance at or at the door if available.

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