By Randi Bjornstad
One of the sensations of last year’s musical season in the Eugene-Springfield area was the introduction of The Delgani String Quartet.
Founded by violinist Wyatt True, who is the group’s artistic and executive director, Delgani opens its second season on Nov. 1 with a concert called “Musical Memoirs.”
The title comes from selections on the program that amount to “autobiographical works” by Dmitri Shostakovich, Anton Webern and Felix Mendelssohn.
Those include Shostakovich’s “String Quartet No. 8,” “Langsamer Satz” by Webern and Mendelssohn’s “String Quartet in F Minor, Opus 80,” composed after the death of his sister.
The make-up of the quartet has changed a bit from last year, still including violinists True and Jannie Wei and violist Kimberlee Uwate and welcoming its newest member, cellist Eric Alterman.
Alterman recently finished his fifth season as assistant principal cellist with the Orquestra Sinfónica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro. He grew up in New York City and has degrees from Brandeis and Boston universities.
Wei earned her doctorate in violin performance and pedagogy at the University of Oregon and has performed widely, including with the Oregon Mozart Players, the Bach Collegium and the Eugene Opera Orchestra.
Uwate has taught at two universities in Illinois and performed widely, including at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City and in the Dominican Republic.
True holds a doctorate in violin performance and historical performance practice, as well as a master’s degree in violin performance and string quartet studies and bachelor’s degrees in music, philosophy, physics and astronomy.
The season opener also will mark the release of the Delgani String Quartet’s debut album, “Invisible Light,” featuring composer Terry McQuilkin’s “Invisible Light,” Lou Harrison’s “String Quartet Set” and four pieces by composer Paul Safar with orator Rickie Bitrran, commissioned specifically for Delgani.
The Delgani String Quartet’s second season, which includes four concerts, carries the title, “Astonished by Music.” The group has received funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust to help finance not only the performances but also educational outreach to students from Salem to Ashland.
After the Nov. 1 “Musical Memoirs” performance, the rest of the concert season includes “Art of the Fugue” on Jan. 31, featuring the work of J.S. Bach, Joseph Haydn, Charles Ives and Ludwig van Beethoven; “From My Life” on March 21, introducing new works from the winners of a “call-for-scores” competition; and “Evolving Elements” on May 16, with University of Oregon percussion faculty member Pius Cheung and his wife Eriko Daimo, an internationally known marimba and percussion artist. That program concludes with Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet.
The concerts will be performed in Eugene at 7:30 p.m. at United Lutheran Church at 2230 Washington St. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door and $10 for students, available online at delgani.org or by telephone at 541-579-5882.
Season tickets are available for $80 for adults, $40 for students.
Future concerts also will be performed in Salem at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church at 1525 Glen Creek Road NW, on Jan 22, March 12 and April 30.