Stringing in harmony

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Courtesy of the Fred Fox School of Music

From left to right: Kathryn Harpainter, Emily Nolan, Robert Marshall and JoAnna Park. The four string musicians will perform their inaugural recital as the Graduate String Quartet tonight in Holsclaw Hall.

Tonight, take a cue from several of the best graduate musicians at the UA. A quartet of master’s and doctoral students that were selected through a national search will perform in their inaugural recital in Holsclaw Hall. The UA Graduate String Quartet is made up of two violinists, Emily Nolan and JoAnna Park, one violist, Kathryn Harpainter, and one cellist, Robert Marshall.

The group will perform multiple pieces at the concert: Haydn’s “Quartet in G Major” and “Op. 77 No. 1,” Mendelssohn’s “Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major” and “Op. 12,” and Shostakovich’s “Quartet No. 9 in E-flat Major” and “Op. 117,” according to the official page on the Fred Fox School of Music website.

The Graduate String Quartet is in its first year at the UA and was created to aid with the School of Music’s outreach and educational initiatives. The group is required to put on one annual recital to demonstrate the art its members have collaborated on throughout the year.

Quartet members were chosen through an international search for students who had received extensive training in chamber music.

“We have essentially been preparing all year for this recital,” Nolan said. “It’s a big deal.”

Both UA faculty members and guest artists mentor the group throughout the year to prepare it for recitals and participation in both summer music festivals and chamber music competitions. Not only do the students perform as a group, but they are also pursuing graduate degrees that focuses on chamber music performance. The quartet members also serve as leaders in the symphony orchestra. The musicians chosen to be part of this newly established group will receive experience in performing, teaching and leadership.

The students are some of the top musicians in the country for their particular instrument. When asked how she developed a passion for the violin, Nolan said she grew up in a musical family.

“It all stems from my upbringing,” Nolan said. “My father is a pianist, organist and vocalist; music was essential in the household, considering all of my siblings began on the violin.”

Nolan’s past shows how these musicians have worked throughout their lives to get to where they are today.

“My advice [to a student pursuing music],” Nolan said, “is to always keep in mind that you are one of a few that are truly pursuing their passion. It may seem like things get crazy as a music student, but do not give up on the integrity of music and what it provides for not only yourself, but for everyone around you.”

The Graduate String Quartet’s inaugural recital will be held in Holsclaw Hall at 7 p.m. The event is open to the general public, and admission is free.

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