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Taking Their Encore

Student composers look on as the Amernet Quartet performs their works as part of their on-campus residency. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Student composers look on as their works are performed by the Amernet Quartet as part of an on-campus residency in 2014. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Amernet String Quartet kicks off exciting season of fall artistic residencies

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Some things are just too good to do only once. So it is with Amernet String Quartet, who returns to campus this fall for a repeat artistic residency that includes a performance of Dickinsonian music.

Lauded by The New York Times for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” performances, Amernet has performed in prestigious venues in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East since its founding by former Julliard students in 1991. The ensemble won the gold medal at the Tokyo International Music Competition and was the first prizewinner of the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Amernet's encore visit to Dickinson arrives on the heels of an October 2014 residency that included small-group sessions with faculty and students and intensive workshops with student composers. This time around, the acclaimed musicians will present a new work by Professor of Music Robert Pound, whose String Quartet No. 2 takes a fresh approach to a theme the composer first explored in 2003—the nature of contemporary discourse.

"It takes an approach to continuity which, as I witness it, is common to our contemporary experience of communications," says Pound, explaining that today, a long, uninterrupted discourse, narrative or trajectory of events is the exception, rather than the rule, and that just as a viewer might flip among television stations, we also might engage with music, news, podcasts or in text—and in-person—conversations in the same fragmented, potentially redirected way. The result: a musical work "imitative of our abrupted, intersected, juxtaposed daily communications, but one enjoyable to hear as multiple parallel dramas and comedies in sound."

Amernet will premiere Pound's work during a Sept. 28 open rehearsal (9:30 a.m.) and an Oct. 1 performance (7 p.m.) in Rubendall Recital Hall. This fall’s artists-in-residence also include:

  • John Patrick Shanley, Pulitzer Prize, Academy Award, Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-winning American playwright, best known as screenwriter and director of the 2008 film adaptation of his play Doubt.
  • Simon Morrison, a Prokofiev scholar and Einstein Award-winning music historian;
  • Barry Snyder, a three-time Van Cliburn Award-winning pianist;
  • Richard Move, a Bessie Award-winning choreographer and TEDGlobal Oxford fellow;
  • Ben Munisteri, an NYC choreographer and recipient of awards and grants through the National Endowment for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts; and
  • Michael Yoder, a visual artist and recipient of an artist-in-residence grant from The Chinati Foundation (Marfa, Tex.,) and an Artist-in-the-Marketplace Grant from The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Learn more about Dickinson's fall 2016 artists-in-residence.

Learn More

Published September 27, 2016