ETHEL performs Blue Dress
the string quartet of now
Saturday, May 6, 7:30p
at the Roxbury Arts Center
5025 Vega Mountain Road
ETHEL, the post-modern, indie-classical quartet, pays special homage to the brilliant, gorgeous and masterful women who are making their musical mark on the 21st century. Sometimes fierce, sometimes seductive, always full of creativity, composers like Anna Clyne, Missy Mazzoli, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Julia Wolfe, are, through their own voices, warriors and champions of music today.
Repertoire by these powerful and contemporary women – including the first performances of Julia Wolfe’s bluegrass-inspired Blue Dress for String Quartet – is performed with music created by those named, by the composers’ personal sources of inspiration.
Anna Clyne’s favorites include rock legend Stevie Nicks, while Missy Mazzoli draws creative strength from Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, one of the leaders of the worldwide wave of alt rock bands. Julia Wolfe cites the timelessness of Aretha Franklin, who continues in her role as standard-bearer for so many of today’s musicians. Amplified quartet arrangements of works by these powerhouses are paired with Clyne, Mazzoli, and Wolfe.
By exploring new compositions by three of today’s most influential composers, side by side with the groundbreaking music of their Muses, ETHEL offers a distinctive and stirring read on their interconnections that is sexy, sumptuous, and boldly beautiful.
Known worldwide for transcending the limits of tradition, ETHEL actively, aggressively, and joyfully adapts its masterful skill-set to the presentation of virtuosic, boundary-crossing works of musical and cultural diversity. Founded in 1998 and based in New York City, ETHEL is comprised of Ralph Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello), Kip Jones (violin), and Corin Lee (violin).
Acclaimed as “unfailingly vital” (The New York Times), “brilliant,” “downtown’s reigning string quartet” (The New Yorker), and “one of the most exciting quartets around” (The Strad), ETHEL invigorates the contemporary music scene with exuberance, intensity, imaginative programming, and exceptional artistry. At the heart of ETHEL is a quest for a common creative expression that is forged in the celebration of community. As cultural and musical “pollinators,” the quartet invigorates today’s indie-classic scene through genre and culture-crossing initiatives, inventive repertoire, and innovative community engagement activities. ETHEL advances the work of a diverse community of artists through commissions, collaborations, and recordings.
The group ongoingly champions the music of emerging artists, and performs adventurous music by celebrated contemporary composers such as Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, Phil Kline, Andy Akiho, David Lang, John King, John Zorn, Steve Reich, Anna Clyne, Kenji Bunch, JacobTV, Don Byron, Marcelo Zarvos, Evan Ziporyn, Judd Greenstein, Terry Riley, James Kimo Williams and Mary Ellen Childs. Over the past five years, ETHEL has premiered 150+ new works, many of them commissioned by the quartet.