On the evening of November 1, 2016, I had the opportunity to attend a musical event on the University of Baltimore Campus. Around 7:00 pm, the Wright Theater located in the Student Center was alive with the beautiful sound of music performed by the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet. Four graduates from the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory, entertained the audience with Russian music of the 19th and early 20th centuries to contemporary composers orchestrated with the usage of stringed instruments such as the violin, the viola, and the cello.
The first song performed was called the “Moderato alla breve” composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908). Elegant and tricky with its quick upbeat to low beat switching, the song felt like an introduction or a welcome into this world of Russia. At that moment, I was pulled in and was amazed by the amazing talent of the four graduates. Mikhail Bondarev (violin), Ekaterina Belisova (violin), Alexei Popov (viola), and Anton Andreev (cello) played their hearts out with musical selections composed by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), and Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971).
After being captured into this array of uplifting and serene music, I became aware that I have come to a knew acknowledgment of instrumental music. Most of my life I’ve learned about or heard music composed by well-known talents such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Johann Sebastian Bach. Never have I been introduced to those who lived in Russia or other parts of the world. This event has opened my eyes and my ears to the fact that music is broad and dwells all around the world waiting for me to cross upon them.
The Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet formed in 1939, has regular performances in festivals provided by Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Malta, England, Switzerland, and Finland. They continue to make people aware of the grand tradition of Russian classic music and has made many professional sound recordings that can be found in Germany, the United States, France, and Russia.
–Copyright by LeQuita C. Harrison. UB: Writing, Editing, and Publishing Course. Mr. Friskey. November 1, 2016.