"A Prokofiev Celebration"
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - String Quartet no.1 in F major, op.12 (1875)
Sergei Prokofiev - String Quartet in B minor, no.1, op.50 (1931)
Antonin Dvorák - String Quartet no.12 in F major, op.96 (1893)
The Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet returns for the third time to St. Paul’s Church in Newburyport direct from St. Petersburg, Russia, with a program featuring works by Sergei Prokofiev and Antonín Dvořák composed and premiered on American shores. The concert honors the 125th anniversary of Prokofiev’s birth, and the 85th anniversary of the inaugural performance of his String Quartet No. 1 in B minor, Op. 50, which was a commission of the Library of Congress. In fact, the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet’s performance will take place 85 years almost to the day after the Russian premiere of the Prokofiev Quartet No. 1.
Like Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev was not only a giant of 20th century music, but also a seminal composer of ballet and opera who worked extensively for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Remarkably prolific and inventive, Prokofiev created his String Quartet No 1 in B minor, Op. 50 during one of his immensely successful United States tours, and the world premiere took place in Washington at the Library of Congress in honor of the composer’s 40th birthday. Distinctive in many ways, the piece is especially unusual due its key, B minor, which is a semitone below the limits of the viola and cello range, creating a unique sound. The finale of the slow third movement, in particular, is intensely emotional. Famed Moscow critic Boris Asafyev wrote at the time, “There is true profundity in the sweeping melodic line and intensity of the finale. This movement strikes deep…”
Also on the program is Antonín Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 written during a summer in Iowa while Dvořák was Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. Known as the “American Quartet”, not only because it was created in the US, but also because it carried the influence of American folk song, the piece received its public premiere in Boston on January 1, 1894. The final work in the program is the String Quartet in F major, Op. 12 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the naval officer turned composer in whose memory the Quartet (as well as the St. Petersburg Conservatory) was named.
The members of the Quartet– Mikhail Bondarev (violin), Ekaterina Belisova (violin), Alexei Popov (viola) and Anton Andreev (cello) – are graduates of the prestigious Saint Petersburg Conservatory, and steeped in the grand tradition of Russian classical music. The string quartet was founded in 1939, the oldest in Russia, and regarded as a monument to Russian musical history, has consistenly received outstanding reviews in Europe and the US.
The concert is presented in partnership with the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative is a non-profit organization that fosters international creative exchange in the visual and performing arts, in the tradition of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Headed by Executive Director Anna Winestein, a historian of Russian art and theatre, curator and cultural entrepreneur, BRAI aspires to be a broker of innovative collaboration between arts institutions in the independent states created out of the former Soviet Union, and audiences in the US. Through this work it hopes to create an exchange of ideas and a greater cultural understanding between people. Based in Boston, Massachusetts and affiliated with Boston University, the BRAI carries out local programming and outreach events in Boston and nearby regions. To learn more and see upcoming events, visit www.ballets-russes.com
Please join us for this unique opportunity to hear one of the master quartets of Europe in the beautiful space of St. Paul’s Church. A reception will follow the performance. Visit Facebook@stpaulsNBPT or www.stpauls-nbpt.com for more information, or call 978-697-4084.
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
On street parking is available on the streets surrounding the church. The Newburyport Commuter Rail station is located 0.9 miles from the church. Taxis are available, and a walking path leads directly to the church.
Is the church handicap accessible?
What can/can't I bring to the event?
No audio or video recording devices are allowed.
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Bronson at 978-697-4084 or Deb at 978-465-5351
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
No. A list of registered names and the number of tickets purchased will be at the door.
Can I purchase tickets at the door?
Yes, but we recommend pruchasing your tickets in advance.
Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
What is the refund policy?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer ticket refunds.