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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
July 26, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Penderecki String Quartet

PENDERECKI STRING QUARTET: Dr. JEREMY BELL, Professors JERZY KAPLANEK, CHRISTINE VLAJK, and JACOB BRAUN: Community Collaborative Projects/ Workshops/ Performances and Laurier String Academy
Penderecki String Quartet Funded Community Projects:

While firmly anchored in the Laurier community, the internationally renowned Penderecki String Quartet considers the world stage as its larger community. Their active engagement of community audiences through concerts, workshops, and lecture demonstrations provide a model of funded research that engages members of the community through creative music making.

The Kreutzer Project: A dramatic chamber concert based on Leo Tolstoy’s “The Kreutzer Sonata”
JEFF RYAN, Sonata distorta
LEOŠ JANÁČEK, Quartet No. 1 (Kreutzer Sonata)
L. v. BEETHOVEN Cello Quintet arr.of Op. 47 (Kreutzer Sonata)
"a program with clear emotional purpose articulated in verydifferent yet closely linked musical expressions.  The Pendereckis were brilliant at highlighting the tensions...delivering the emotional gusts with verve and precision."    (John Terauds, The Toronto Star)
"Tolstoy tribute is fresh, odd, and astute" (Ken Winters, The Globe and Mail)
The Kreutzer Project is a dramatic chamber concert inspired by the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy's novella, The Kreutzer Sonata.  Laurier’s Penderecki String Quartet, in collaboration with guest cellist, mixes music of Beethoven, Janácek and Canadian composer Jeff Ryan, with monologues delivered by Stratford actor Colin Fox.  Described by the Globe and Mail as "fresh, odd, and astute", the Kreutzer Project brings to life not only the horrific sides to this story, but also the ironic dark humour therein.  
Tour:  Toronto's St. Lawrence Centre, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and two international festivals in Italy in 2006. Between 2006-2009, the Kreutzer Project toured across Ontario (Windsor, Niagara, Guelph), to St. John’s Nfld, and in Europe to Belgrade.
Funded by Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the St. Lawrence Centre in the amount of $25,000.

This project was an East-West musical masala.  Mixing Indo Jazz repertoire of acclaimed Toronto group Autorickshaw with the Penderecki String Quartet.
2009  Tour: 
River Run Centre, Guelph,
Maureen Forrester Hall, Waterloo (CBC Radio 2 Broadcast)
Lula Lounge, Toronto
Ottawa International Chamber Festival
Funded by Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the CBC in the amount of $20,000.

PSQ + Dancetheatre David Earle
With funds from the Canada Council, the Banff Centre commissioned composer Omar Daniel to write a work for string quartet, dancers and electronics.   Homer's "The Odyssey" is a tale of separation and reunion.  Odysseus, on his voyage homeward after the Trojan war, encounters many dangers but he is protected by Athena, the goddess of Wisdom.  He has been away for 20 years, and no one knows if he is among the dead, or living still.  His wife Penelope is beset by suitors, and agrees to marry when her weaving is done - but every night she undoes what has been done that day. Athena sends Telemachus, their son, in search of his father.  Odysseus returns, is reunited with Penelope and, with Telemachus, kills the suitors. The work was performed by 20 dancers from Guelph-based Dancetheatre David Earle with Penderecki String Quartet.
2010 Tour:  Banff Centre, Open Ears Festival (Kitchener), Ottawa Chamber Fest
Funded by Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Banff Centre in the amount of $50,000.
Quantifying Goethe

-Anton von Webern    Fünff Stücke for String Quartet, Op.5 (1909) with video design by Laura De Decker (2009 Premiere)
-Kotoka Suzuki    VESTIGIA for string quartet, dance, live electronic audio/video, and nuclear magnetic resonance machine (Commissioned by the Penderecki String Quartet and Perimeter Institute with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts, 2009 Premiere)
-Franz Schubert     Quintet for Strings in C Major, D.956 (1828)

Quantifying Goethe celebrates one of the most creative and influential thinkers of all time.   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s work has had profound resonance in the realms of literature, art, science, and music.  His published theories of colour, osteology, comparative anatomy, geology, botany, zoology, meteorology, viticulture, and music were essential to his attitude towards the world and important for his consciousness as poet and thinker. Performed: October 2010 at the Perimeter Institute’s QuantumFest   
Funded by Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Perimeter Institute in the amount of $30,000.
Mahler Centenary. Marking 100 years since the passing of Gustav Mahler, this project joins the PSQ with their esteemed partners the Pentaedre Wind Quintet from Montreal ( and singers Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Christoph Prégardien. The project will be recorded for ATMA Classique discs.
Gustav Mahler       Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Forget arr.)
Richard Wagner     Siegfried Idyll 
2011 Tour:  Montreal Pollack Hall, Quebec City Palais Montcalme, Waterloo WLU
Funded by Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Conseil des arts du Quebec in the amount of $60,000.

New Adventures in Sound Art, and PSQ Projects present:
PSQ + DJ P-Love

The Gladstone Hotel is known internationally as one of the top art hotels in the world hosting a buzzing cultural scene.  It’s a perfect place for the Penderecki String Quartet to flex its funkier muscles.  The upcoming PSQ + DJ P-Love lounge event at the Gladstone finds a path from artsy lap-top sound manipulation to dance electronica.   The repertoire features Kotoka Suzuki’s colourful Vestigia for string quartet and live electronics (2011); Steve Reich’s pulsating classic Different Trains for string quartet and tape (1988); Nicole Lizée’s This Will Not Be Televised for 7 players and turntablist (2005-2007); and New York City’s DJ P-Love takes it into the wee hours with solo sets.     The musicians are joined by Rick Sacks, percussion; Greg Samek, drumkit; Brian Baty, double bass; and Greg Oh, conductor.  The audio will be supported via a surrounding 8-speaker high-end system with spatialization by Darren Copeland and Hector Centeno from New Adventures in Sound Art. 
Tour: Thursday April 28, 2011 10pm /Wax Club Kitchener
Friday, April 29, 9 PM, 2011 / Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
Funded by Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Open Ears Festival in the amount of $15,000.