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The Debussy String Quartet at SOU

Chamber Music Concerts will present the Debussy String Quartet with pianist Katherine Chi at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Southern Oregon University Music Recital Hall, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

Friday's program will feature Darius Milhaud's String Quartet No. 1, Op. 5; Maurice Ravel's String Quartet in F major; and Cesar Franck's Piano Quintet in F minor. Saturday's program will include Amadeus Mozart's String Quartet in B flat major, K. 172; Joseph-Ermend Bonnal's String Quartet No. 1; and Johannes Brahms' Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34.

In addition to the concerts, the Debussy Quartet will present a free lecture and performance at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at the SOU Music Recital Hall. Chi will present a piano master class for selected students from the piano studio of SOU Professor Alexander Tutunov at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at the SOU Music Recital Hall. The events are free and open to the public.

Based in Lyon, France, the Debussy String Quartet began in 1990 and performs almost 80 concerts a year in Europe, Asia and North America. They are winners of the Evian International String Quartet Competition. The group's expansive repertoire is enhanced by its commitment to bring works by French composers to the stage and recording studio.

The Debussy Quartet sometimes forms new collaborations with artists such as clarinetist Igor Begelman or klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer in programs that combine classical music with jazz and klezmer.

In 1998, the Debussy Quartet signed a 10-year contract with the French Arion label for the recording of several volumes in the "French Music" collection and the complete Dmitri Shostakovich Quartets (among other works).

Chi gave her debut recital at age 9. A year later she was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music. She continued studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she received her master's degree and graduate and artist diplomas. She later studied for two years at the International Piano Foundation in Como, Italy, and at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.

Chi was a prizewinner at the 1998 Busoni International Piano Competition and was the first Canadian and first woman to win Canada's Honens International Piano Competition. Her debut recording, of works by Beethoven and Rachmaninov, was released in 2003 on Canada's Arktos label. She has performed throughout Europe and North America and is a resident in Boston where she teaches and pursues her doctorate at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Tickets are $26/$30 general, $5 for youths 22 and under. See ChamberMusicConcerts.org or call the office at 552-6154 for more information.

Pianist Katherine Chi will perform with the Debussy Quartet in two concerts. - Chamber Music Concerts