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Arianna Quartet returns to work with students

October  21, 2011

The Arianna String Quartet

Augustana will welcome Arianna String Quartet, a nationally recognized ensemble, for a repeat performance at Wallenberg Hall in the Denkmann Memorial Building at 2 p.m. Oct. 23.

Augustana professor of music Dr. Janina Ehrlich will join the quartet on cello to perform Franz Schubert's Quintet in C Major in addition to the quartet's own performance of Joan Tower's "In Memory". The concert, which is part of the Guest Artist Series at the college, is free and open to the public.

As part of their residency, the quartet invites area string students and teachers to observe a rehearsal demonstration at 1 p.m. Oct. 22, followed by an open master class with Augustana string students at 1:30 p.m. Eight high school students from the Davenport, Bettendorf, and Pleasant Valley communities (Oliver Kao, Christine Kao, Kevin Li, Alyssa Kendall, Nick Emory, Jess Marston, Kelsey Qu, and Jacob Warner) will then have the opportunity to work with the Arianna Quartet in an open master class on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Ehrlich says the chance to hear "students being taught by the quartet members will be an excellent educational experience for all."

Founded in 1992, the St. Louis-based string quartet consists of John McGrosso, violin; David Gilham, violin; Joanna Mendoza, viola; and Kurt Baldwin, cello. In 2000, the quartet members were appointed to the faculty of the University of Missouri-St. Louis as Artist Teachers and Quartet-in-Residence, and more recently as associate professors of music.

The internationally known Arianna String Quartet has performed many concerts throughout the United States, in Mexico, Japan, Canada and France-as well as several visits to Augustana. The multiple visits to the college have been due in part to the student-teacher friendship between cellist Kurt Baldwin, originally of Iowa City, and Professor of Music Dr. Janina Ehrlich.

"They are a fabulous quartet and in great demand," said Ehrlich, who taught Baldwin for several years. "They are such good teachers and performers. Watching and listening to them play is an experience you just don't get to have very often."

In addition to teaching and performing at Augustana College, Dr. Ehrlich is a member of the Board of Directors for the SBC Music and Arts Academy in Rock Island, IL. Dr. Ehrlich's professional orchestral experience has included the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasiliera (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and 25 years in the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833