Quartetfest showcases musicians from the Laurier community

From May 28 to June 5, Wilfrid Laurier University’s faculty of music hosted Quartetfest2010 in celebration of composer Robert Schumann’s 200th birthday. Quartetfest is an annual intensive spring term string program for Laurier and international students, hosted by Laurier’s Quartet-in-Residence, the Penderecki String Quartet.

This 10 day festival includes performances on campus and KW at large, in conjunction with the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community and the WLU String Academy. Jerzy Kaplanek, violin player of the Penderecki String Quartet stated that Quartetfest enriches Laurier students by exposing them to other cultures and international ensembles.

“[Quartetfest] allows musical, social and professional experiences to the students,” said Kaplanek.

The Penderecki String Quartet

Comprised of four Laurier faculty members, the Juno award winning Penderecki String Quartet has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation. Their sound changes with the music that they perform, currently voicing with extreme ends and colour to play the romantic music of Schumann.

“Chamber music grew out of performing in living rooms for small audiences, to perform to a couple hundred people at the most,” explained Kaplanek.

Kaplanek believes that music audiences have been shrinking due to the ease of access of acquiring music online. Yet the audience members who still come to the concerts give hope to the art of chamber music because they are determined to have the experience of listening to live music.

Laurier Centre for Music in the Community (LcMc) Award Presentation

On June 5, the LcMc hosted an award presentation to honour musicians who have made a musical difference to the KW community. Award recipients included Paul Pulford, cellist and Laurier’s associate dean of music. Pulford believes that KW impacts the musical community “locally through the Laurier orchestra, nationally with the KW Symphony, and internationally through the Pendereski String Quartet.”

Other award winners included Charles Morrison, Laurier’s dean of music, for promoting the idea of the LcMc to outreach music into the community. LcMc, approved by the university’s senate in 2007, is directed by faculty member Lee Willingham and aims to foster the growth of music in the community through research, symposia, publishing and concerts.

The concluding Penderecki String Quartet gala-concert as part of this year’s festival is on June 8 in the Laurier Maureen Forrester recital hall.