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Apple Hill String Quartet and Local Students Perform in Voices of Terezín

Apple Hill String Quartet
Apple Hill String Quartet

New Hampshire’s well known Apple Hill String Quartet and local school children perform on Sunday, November 13 in a distinctive concert as part of the commemorate series Voices of Terezín, dedicated to the legacy of the Jewish composers and artists held in Terezín, the Nazi concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic. Local middle and high school students along with Keene State College students and faculty perform the children’s opera Brundibar at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Alumni Recital Hall of KSC’s Redfern Arts Center. Apple Hill String Quartet performs only at 7 p.m. in a concert of works by Pavel Haas, a Czech composer and an inmate of Terezín. Tickets to each performance range from $18 to $30 and $5 for KSC students. For tickets call the Redfern Box Office at 603-358-2168 or order online at keene.edu/arts/redfern.

The children’s opera Brundibar, composed by Hans Krása with a libretto by Adolf Hoffmeister, was performed over 50 times at Terezín. This beautiful children’s story which extolls the virtue of courage over tyranny, is directed and conducted by KSC Music Faculty Matthew Leese and is performed by members of the Greater Monadnock Youth Choirs, Keene Middle School Show Choir, KSC Department of Music students, and KSC faculty playing in the orchestra. The 2 p.m. performance of Brundibar concludes with the audience invited to sing-along with the children’s chorus.

The Apple Hill String Quartet Elise Kuder and Colleen Jennings, violin, Mike Kelley, viola; Rupert Thompson, cello is joined by KSC Music Professor Christopher Swist, percussion, to perform String Quartet No.2, From the Monkey Mountains by Pavel Haas, a Czech composer and inmate at Terezín. Mezzo-soprano Jazimina MacNeil and Apple Hill will perform Songs on Chinese Poetry, written at Terezin by Haas, who is best known for his song cycles and string quartets.

Strad Magazine, a string instrument magazine read worldwide, critiqued Apple Hill’s New York concert this past spring and the reviewer enjoyed an “engaging afternoon” of the Apple Hill String Quartet’s “expertise,” “artful phrasing,” and “confident intonation” especially when they played Pavel Haas’s 1925 String Quartet No. 2, From the Monkey Mountains.

Since its founding in 2007, the Apple Hill String Quartet has earned praise around the world for its concerts presenting interpretive mastery of traditional repertoire – including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven, and Ravel – as well as for world premieres and commissioned pieces. As resident musicians at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Quartet is featured in the summer concert series at the Center in Nelson, N.H. During the regular concert season, the Quartet conducts mini-residencies in embassies, communities, schools, and universities from the Monadnock region to major U.S. cities and around the world as part of Apple Hill’s Playing for Peace program.

KSC’s Fall 2016 commemorative series Voices of Terezín is dedicated to the legacy of the Jewish composers and artists held in the Terezín Nazi camp, and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. The series is a collaboration between the KSC Music Department, the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program, and the Redfern Arts Center. C&S Wholesale Grocers is the sponsor of the November 13 performances at the Redfern. Following are Voices of Terezín events, most of which take place on the KSC campus. All events listed below are free and open to the public.

  • November 7 to 13: Visual Witness: The Art of Persecution Under the Nazi Regime, an exhibit by Sofia Thornblad, a KSC Holocaust and Genocide Studies student, in the Main Lobby, Redfern Arts Center. A reception is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 10.
  • November 9: Kristallnacht Remembrance including a performance of excerpts from Brundibar by KSC Opera Workshop, directed by Matthew Leese (KSC faculty) at 7 p.m., The Colonial Theatre, Keene.
  • November 10: Voices of Terezín Guest Speaker Series. Elaine Broad Ginsberg (KSC faculty) speaks about New Voices in Post-WWII Jewish Choral Music, at 4 p.m. in Centennial Hall, Alumni Center.
  • November 13: In conjunction with the Brundibar and Apple Hill performances are Pre-Concert Lectures at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Harry Davis Room, Redfern Arts Center.
  • November 13: Post-concert Meet and Greet and Receptions in the Main Lobby, Redfern Arts Center following the Brundibar and Apple Hill performances.
  • December 1: Voices of Terezín Guest Speaker Series. Mark Ludwig (Executive Director, Terezín Music Foundation) speaks about Viktor Ullman’s ‘Der Kaiser von Atlantis’ and the Meaning of Death at 4 p.m. in Centennial Hall, Alumni Center.
  • December 1: KSC Film Society Series presents Voices of Terezín: On Film screenings of four films: Jude, Hitler Gives a City to the Jews, Prisoner of Paradise, Un vivant qui passé followed by a panel discussion by Jo Dery (moderator, KSC faculty), Larry Benaquist (KSC emeritus faculty) and Paul Vincent (KSC faculty), and Mark Ludwig (Terezín Music Foundation) at 7 p.m. in the Putnam Theatre, Redfern Arts Center.
  • December 8, 7:30 p.m.: KSC Music Faculty Recital: Music and Perseverance featuring Virginia Eskin (piano, KSC faculty) and Marcia Lehninger (violin, KSC faculty) at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Recital Hall, Redfern Arts Center. At 7 p.m. a pre-concert lecture Voices of Terezín – A Reflection by Joseph Darby (KSC faculty).