Connoisseur Series presents the American String Quartet on USM campus

Connoisseur Series presents the American String Quartet on USM campus

This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi

The Connoisseur Series will present the American String Quartet April 18 at 8 p.m. in Marsh Auditorium on The University of Southern Mississippi's Hattiesburg campus. Thanks to a grant from Partners for the Arts, the program is free and the public is invited.

The quartet is a professional string ensemble comprised of Peter Winograd, violin; Laurie Carney, violin; Daniel Avshalomov, viola; and Wolfram Koessel, cello. The American String Quartet will be on campus for a two-day residency, with master classes preceding their recital and a chamber music master class the following day.

Internationally recognized as one of the world's foremost quartets, the American String Quartet celebrates its 40th season this year. Critics and colleagues hold the quartet in high esteem and many of today's leading artists and composers seek out the quartet for collaborations. Formed in 1974 when its original members were students at The Juilliard School, the American String Quartet was launched by winning both the Coleman Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in the same year.

"We are excited to have this critically acclaimed ensemble here to work with our students. This is a wonderful opportunity not only for Southern Miss students, but also for music lovers in our community," said Dr. Alexander Russakovsky, professor of cello at the School of Music.

The Quartet is also known for its performances of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schoenberg, Bartók, Mendelssohn, and Mozart, as well as all the string quintets of Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. The Quartet's recordings of the complete Mozart string quartets on a matched set of Stradivarius instruments are widely held to set the standard for this repertoire. To celebrate its 35th anniversary, the quartet recorded an ambitious CD, Schubert's Echo, released by NSS Music. The program invites the listener to appreciate the influence of Schubert on two masterworks of early 20th-century Vienna. In addition to quartets by European masters, the American naturally performs quartets by American composers.

The ensemble also champions contemporary music. They have commissioned and premiered works by distinguished American composers Claus Adam, Richard Danielpour, Kenneth Fuchs, Tobias Picker, and George Tsontakis. The quartet has recorded on the Albany, CRI, MusicMasters, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch, and RCA labels. Their discography includes works by Adam, Corigliano, Danielpour, Dvorák, Fuchs, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, and Tsontakis.

The American Quartet's innovative programming and creative approach to education has resulted in notable residencies throughout the country. They continue as quartet in residence at the Manhattan School of Music (1984–present) and the Aspen Music Festival (1974–present). They also teach in Beijing, China, and travel widely abroad.

For more information, contact Dr. Mike Lopinto at