Middlebury

Acclaimed Muir String Quartet to perform Nov. 6

October 24, 2005

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The highly praised Muir String Quartet, now in its 27th season as a performing ensemble, will take the stage on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 3 p.m., for a free concert in the Concert Hall at Middlebury College's Center for the Arts.

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The Muir String Quartet

For the past 21 years, the accomplished foursome has been Quartet in Residence at Boston University School of Music and has made a name for itself playing chamber music across North America and Europe. Its members include violinists Lucia Lin and Peter Zazofsky, Steven Ansell playing viola and cellist Michael Reynolds.

Taking its name from the great American naturalist, explorer and Sierra Club founder John Muir, the quartet supports conservation efforts, and provides enlightening programs for aspiring musicians. In keeping with their mission, the Muir String Quartet records on the nonprofit label EcoClassics and maintains a close partnership with the Classics for Kids Foundation. 
 
Since its debut in 1980, the Muir String Quartet has received acclaim for its efforts both onstage and in the recording studio. The ensemble has worked with a variety of American composers to premiere new works, including Lucas Foss' String Quartet no. 4, Joan Tower's "Night Fields," and Ezra Laderman's String Quartet no. 9. The quartet is also known for its performances of the complete Beethoven String Quartet cycles. Their Middlebury program includes quartets by Haydn and Debussy, and violist Maria Lambros will join them for Brahms' Quintet in G Major.
 
The Tucson Citizen noted in a recent review, "These four smile a lot when they play. Some groups make it look easy. Muir makes it look fun." The New York Times declared that the quartet has "the sound, interpretive depth, and polish to rival the best in the world." 

The Muir String Quartet formed in 1979 when its members graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. They received early praise, awards and attention - including a spot on the PBS broadcast "In Performance at the White House" for President and Mrs. Reagan. 
 
In addition to performing on the concert stage, the talented group teaches young musicians. For the past 15 years, the Muir ensemble has been involved with the Emerging Quartets and Composers Residency Program, now under the auspices of the Deer Valley Music Festival in Utah. This summer, the Muir members collaborated with composer Joan Tower to work with promising young musicians as they rehearsed and performed world premieres of new works by rising composers. As a way to help these musicians build a foundation for their careers, the program combines coaching for musical performances with lectures on topics from business management to the commissioning of new works.  
 
The Muir Quartet's Middlebury concert is made possible with generous support from the Institute for Clinical Science and Art, established by the late Dr. F. William Sunderman of Philadelphia.
 
The concert is free and open to the public. The Middlebury College Center for the Arts is located on South Main Street (Route 30). For more information, contact the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or visit online at www.middlebury.edu/arts