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  • UW-Superior University Recital Series presents Highland String Quartet with Vince Osborn, Alexander

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    November 16, 2021
    The University of Wisconsin-Superior Music Department will present Highland String Quartet with Vince Osborn and Alexander Sandor for its University Recital Series on Tuesday, November 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Thorpe Langley Auditorium.

    “I’m super excited for this concert,” said Sandor, UW-Superior Music Department senior lecturer of piano and class piano. “Ron Kari, the violist in the quartet, asked me last summer if I’d like to play a piano quintet with them sometime this year. I jumped at the chance and suggested we do the Brahms’ ‘Piano Quintet in F minor.’ It’s a piece I’ve been pining over for 30 years, but I’ve somehow never performed it.”
    Sandor believes the depth of the piece will appeal to audience members in numerous ways.

    “This quintet is massive, on the same scale as a big symphony, but for only five players,” said Sandor. “The musical drama is explosive, but at times full of yearning, and there’s a lullaby in the middle. The ending has a relentless drive but is also spooky and ominous – it never fails to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Practicing and rehearsing this piece, for me personally, has been overwhelming.” 
    Along with Kari, the Highland String Quartet is comprised of Steve Highland, violin; Laurie Bastian, violin; and Betsy Husby, cello. These musicians, and Osborn, are also members of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra.

    After a short intermission, the concert will conclude with the world premiere of “Trio in E minor,” written by Sandor, and “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.

    “I’m an accomplished player of ragtime music and I wondered if I could find anything that would allow me to show my ragtime chops,” said Sandor. “I came across an arrangement of Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ for string quintet with piano. The piano part is identical to the original, but everything that audiences are used to hearing from a big orchestra has been condensed to just a few strings. It works remarkably well, and to be honest, the piano part is really the main draw in that piece anyway. It’s incredibly fun to play and I hope the audience departs in a festive mood.”

    Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. Thorpe Langley Auditorium is in Old Main, 1710 Weeks Ave. For questions or additional information, call (715) 394-8115 or email music@uwsuper.edu. Event link: https://www.uwsuper.edu/calendar/urs-highland-string-quartet-with-vince-osborn-and-alexander-sandor_calendar520758400

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