SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS: Mozart Revisited

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By Teresa Crasto

The Union College Concert Series began Thursday, Oct. 13 in Memorial Chapel with a series of four of Mozart’s string quartets, performed by cellist Sophie Shao and Friends—violinist Lily Francis, violinist Arnaud Sussmann and violist Paul Neubauer.

“Mozart’s string quartets are still unusual and creative now,” Shao said. “You can listen for anything you want.”

“They’re not given as much exposure as they demand,” said Dan Berkenblit, producer of the concert series, who asked the musicians to perform the quartets.

It is Berkenblit’s last year producing the series. He has been working on the series hand-in-hand with his successor, Derek Delaney.

The four pieces highlighted different aspects of Mozart’s music from different periods of his life, providing a good contrast and variety to the concert. The music was consistently exciting and interesting, and the acoustics of Memorial Chapel highlighted the musicians’ talents.

The series runs through April 2012 and consists of fifteen performances, typically two every month. The most recent show, the English Concert, was Wednesday Oct. 19, and the next performance, by Jennifer Johnson Cano and Christopher Cano, will be on Thursday, Oct. 27.

“They introduce students who might not be exposed to the music,” Berkenblit said.

The performers are often based out of New York City and perform in big name venues there; the concert series at Union gives the students a unique opportunity to view these performances right on campus.

The concerts are free for members of the Union College community.

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