Parker String Quartet All Ages Critic's Choice Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Sept. 20, 8 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 21, 3 p.m. 2008

The Parker String Quartet, founded in 2002 by four students at the New England Conservatory of Music, won two major competitions in ’05 (Concert Artists Guild, Bordeaux International String Quartet), and since then they’ve appeared in the predictable prestigious settings. They’ve also sought new audiences, though, in nontraditional venues such as bars and clubs—and with their affinity for new music, these young players make a perfect match with Chicago’s Music in the Loft. Their program opens with Webern’s Langsamer Satz, a student work from 1905 with a fragile beauty that just hints at the austere writing to come once the composer shed late romanticism. Next is Tell Me . . . (previously titled String Quartet no. 1), by Music in the Loft’s composer in residence Matthew Tommasini. Fresh, interesting, and intense, it’s well suited to the Parker’s taut, propulsive style. Last is Dvorak’s String Quartet no. 10 in E-flat Major, op. 51, an endearing if under­developed Bohemian reverie brimming with folk influence. This program will be repeated on Sunday. —Steve Langendorf

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