Pacifica Quartet will play at the University of Idaho

Concert will start 7:30 p.m. in Admin Building Auditorium at University of Idaho; $25 tickets



EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen reporter

The Grammy Award-winning music group Pacifica Quartet will perform a concert tonight as part of the University of Idaho’s Auditorium Chamber Music Series.

Pacifica Quartet is comprised of violinist Simin Ganatra, violinist Austin Hartman, violist Mark Holloway and cellist Brandon Vamos. The musicians traveled to the University of Idaho from Bloomington, Indiana, where they are the quartet-in-residence at the Jacobs School of Music.

Leonard Garrison, director of the Auditorium Chamber Music Series, said this is not the first time Pacifica Quartet has visited Moscow.

“I knew they were fantastic from their previous visits,” Garrison said. “It’s about time we had them back.”

Garrison said the Auditorium Chamber Music Series hosts a string quartet-in-residence during January every year. The auditorium concert is just one part of four days of events the musicians will participate in.

Pacifica Quartet played a “rug concert” for toddlers at the 1912 Center and will coach high school and college musicians as part of the Palouse Chamber Music Workshop. They will also work with composition students at UI’s Lionel Hampton School of Music, Garrison said.

Holloway, also a professor at Indiana University Bloomington, said the quartet likes to create music, so it’s exciting to work with young composers.

“When we play Beethoven, we are trying to bring to life what the composer wrote,” Holloway said. “When you’re playing for a composer who is not just alive and well but a few feet from you, you can have a dialogue.”

Holloway said Pacifica Quartet will perform three pieces during the concert. 

The first, a three-movement piece by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, reflects the memory of the composer’s first wife after she died, Holloway said. 

The second piece, titled “Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory,” was commissioned for the group and written by Israeli-American composer Shulamit Ran. It was inspired by Felix Nussbaum, a painter and writer who died in the Holocaust, he said.

“It’s an examination in sound about what happens to the sweetness of everyday life when this ugliness of cruelty and war and hatred creeps in,” Holloway said. 

After an intermission, Pacifica Quartet will play a Beethoven piece to end the performance.

Tickets to the concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students. Children 12 and under get in free with a paying adult. 

“Our mission is to enable people from this semi-rural region to hear great music,” Garrison said. 

The concert will begin at 7:30 this evening, with the doors opening a half hour before, in the Administration Building Auditorium, located at 875 Campus Drive on the University of Idaho campus.