When Artaria went looking for a challenging and transformative performance project the quartets of Shostakovich became the obvious choice. Halfway through the project, however, violist Annalee Wolf was diagnosed with cancer and needed an immediate medical leave.
Our Year Two plans now postponed we surveyed our recent repertoire and finally settled on a series of chamber programs that highlighted the juxtaposition of the cold war allies. We quickly contacted guest violists Sabina Thatcher and Johanna Torbenson for availability and from our repertoire we devised four national programs: English, American, Russian, and Czech. Here is how we presented things:
I – Bridge Quartet No.2, Britten Three Divertimenti
II – Borodin Quartet No.2 and Prokofiev Quartet No.2
III – Ives Quartet No.1 "Salvation Army" and Barber Quartet
IV – Schulhoff Quartet No.2 and Dvorak Quartet No.12
The reception was extraordinary * and we were thrilled and relieved to present this unusual cycle. The press thought that “Artaria Quartet displayed exceptional ensemble work and impressive confidence in its interpretations” and that it showed in the “group’s assured interplay.” Once again, we repeated the entire set of concerts at St. Olaf College and at Viterbo University to warm and receptive audiences.