University of Calgary

A musical celebration of Western and Eastern cultures

UToday HomeDecember 6, 2012

By Chelsey Higdon

The talented UCalgary String Quartet (left to right): Lev Nesterov, Beth Root Sandvoss, Edmond Agopian and Dean O’Brien. Photo by Kathy RaceThe talented UCalgary String Quartet (left to right): Lev Nesterov, Beth Root Sandvoss, Edmond Agopian and Dean O’Brien. Photo by Kathy RaceThe first concert in the University of Calgary’s Quartet Series will feature gifted erhu player Han Lu and the talented UCalgary String Quartet on Dec. 7. Lu, a music graduate student from Beijing, performed as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra last year.

Lu’s instrument, the erhu, is commonly referred to as the Chinese violin. It sounds delicate like silk, and emulates sounds of nature under the skillful hands of Lu. The evening will also feature violinists Edmond Agopian and Lev Nesterov, viola player Dean O’Brien, and cellist Beth Root Sandvoss. This special performance will bring together an array of talented musicians on one stage.

Music professor and accomplished violinist Edmond Agopian, Lu’s supervisor, wanted to further feature his outstanding graduate student, so he asked William Jordan, head of the Department of Music, to compose a piece for the erhu and string quartet. The piece is a way to bring two musical traditions together, which Agopian explains as “the Western classical music tradition and the Chinese folk music tradition.”

The performance will also feature musical compositions by one of the greatest 20th century composers, Dmitri Shostakovich. This evening will engage audience members in a musical dialogue between instruments of the West and East, and is expected to resonate with audience members on an emotional level.

“The music we will be performing is about human souls, and the live performance will give the music a lot more expressive power than listening to a recording at home,” says Agopian. “I hope that the audience will experience new dimensions in musical expression through the music of Dmitri Shostakovich and William Jordan.”

Learn more about the performance and how to ticket purchases.