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Chamber Music Concerts presents Tesla Quartet

Inspired by late inventor and futurist Nikola Tesla’s words, “Though free to think and act, we are held together like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable,” Tesla Quartet views music as a binding force and strives to create meaningful connections with its audiences. 

Chamber Music Concerts celebrates its 31st season with a performance by Tesla Quartet — winner of a Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in the Senior String Division and prize-winner in the 2012 London International String Quartet Competition and 2013 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition.

According to the London Evening Standard, the quartet's 2012 performance of Claude Debussy’s String Quartet was "a subtly colored performance that balanced confidently between intimacy and extraversion. A real sense of four players listening to each other did not obstruct a natural rapport with the audience."

The Strad magazine wrote that "Tesla was technically superb in Debussy’s Quartet, its performance full of urgency, color and subtle dynamics. This was a masterclass in quartet technique, with great momentum in the last movement.”

The quartet — violinists Ross Snyder and Michelle Lie, viola player Edwin Kaplan and cellist Serafim Smigelskiy —  will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. 

Tickets cost $30 or $35, $5 for full-time students and Oregon Trail Card holders, and can be purchased online at chambermusicconcerts.org or by calling the SOU performing arts box office at 541-552-6154 or 541-552-6348. Saturday's matinee tickets will be available for $20 for ages 19 through 35. Valid identification will be required.

Friday's program will feature Matthew Bowne’s "Great Danger, Keep Out," Erberk Eryilmaz’ Miniatures Set No. 4, Bela Bartok’s String Quartet No. 6 and Antonin Dvorak’s String Quartet in A-flat major, Op. 105. Saturday’s performance will include Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in D major, Op. 20, No. 4, Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2, Linus Köhring’s "7 Aphorismen" and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3. 

In addition to the concerts, Tesla Quartet will present two free outreach programs in the SOU Music Recital Hall. A performance and lecture for SOU music students will be presented at 12:30 p.m. Friday, and a program for members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will be presented at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Tesla Quartet formed in 2008 at The Juilliard School in New York City. From 2009 to 2012, the quartet held a fellowship as the graduate string quartet-in-residence at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where its members studied with the world-renowned Takács Quartet — founded in Hungary.

The quartet performs in the U.S. and abroad. Highlights of its 2014-15 touring season will include a West Coast debut and a return trip to London for a performance at Wigmore Hall.

Coming up in the Chamber Music Concerts 2014-15 season are world-class musicians from Austria, the United Kingdom and the United States. Look for Trio Valtorna on Friday, Jan. 30; Hugo Wolf String Quartet on Feb. 13 and 14; Daedalus String Quartet on March 6 and 7; Elias String Quartet on April 3; and a vocal recital by Christopheren Nomura on April 24.

All concerts will be presented in the Music Recital Hall at SOU. Call 541-552-6154 for information.

Left to right: Viola player Edwin Kaplan, cellist Serafim Smigelskiy and violinists Ross Snyder and Michelle Lie are Tesla Quartet. Photo courtesy of Chamber Music Concerts.