11/16 Concert: Alexander Fiterstein and Friends

 

Concert: Alexander Fiterstein and Friends

University of Chicago, Mandel Hall, 1131 East 57th Street

7:30 p.m.

 

One of the most revered and powerful works of chamber music, the Quartet for the End of Time had extremely humble beginnings. It was first presented on a cold January night in 1941 at a German prisoner-of-war camp, Stalag VIIIA. Four inmates including captured French soldier-composer Olivier Messiaen played the ethereal music on dilapidated instruments to a rapt audience of hundreds of hardened soldiers who were silenced and moved by the great emotional range and engagement of the piece. Polish-born Mieczysław Weinberg, too, was a political refugee who fled to the Soviet Union when Poland was invaded by the Germans in 1939. A prolific composer whose music is often colored by Jewish rhythms and melodies, he wrote his Clarinet Sonata shortly after he was befriended by Dmitri Shostakovich. The concert is performed by four of the most sought-after young virtuosos on the classical music scene today – Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Elena Urioste, violin; Nicholas Canellakis, cello; and Michael Brown, piano. There will be a 6:30 p.m. pre-concert lecture with Seth Brodsky. This concert is part of the UChicago Presents series and is co-sponsored by the Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies. For information and tickets, please see the website.