The Britt Institute Blog

Providing unique educational opportunities to today's young musicians.

Britt String Quartet Academy 2012! August 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittinstitute @ 8:39 pm

Welcome to the Britt Institute’s String Quartet Academy 2012! We are lucky to work with new faculty members, the Los Angeles based Calder Quartet, and twenty gifted students from California (3), Idaho (2), Iowa (1), and Oregon (14). Of the twenty students, seven are returning. We hope to see some familiar faces at String Quartet Academy 2013!

The students have been hard at work practicing individually, rehearsing in their quartets, and receiving one-on-one instruction from the amazing Calder Quartet. Friday evening, the students attended the Britt Festivals’ Classical Opening Night Concert with world renowned violinist, Sarah Chang. In addition, Saturday night the students were on the Britt Hill once again to see Anton Nel, an award winning pianist, perform Schumann’s Piano Concerto.

It is sure to be a challenging two weeks, but the students have already grown so much in the two days they have been here! Please check this blog tomorrow to see pictures of the students in action!


The Final Concert August 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittinstitute @ 5:35 pm

The program for the final concerts have been decided.  Students that play on the first half will also be playing on the second half in the orchestra piece (the Ravel String Quartet), so if you are planning to attend, plan on being there for both concerts.

Also, here is a map of where the SOU Music Recital Hall is in Ashland.  There is plenty of parking right across the street from the music building.


11 AM Concert

String Quartet in D minor, Op. 76 No. 2 (‘Quinten’)   F.J. Haydn

  1. Allegro
  2. Andante o piu tosto allegretto

String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41 No. 3   Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

  1. Andante espressivo; Allegro molto moderato

Quinten Quartet

Emily Wu (Portland, OR), violin
Rebekah Heckler (Godfrey, IL), violin
Benjamin Smith (Winston-Salem, NC), viola
Elisabeth Oar (St. Charles, MO), cello

String Quartet in Bb Major, Op. 64 No. 3   F.J. Haydn

  1. Vivace assai

String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13  Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

  1. Adagio; Allegro vivace

Lark Quartet

Sarah Klevorn (Kirkwood, MO), violin
Fiona Brickey (St. Louis, MO), violin
Lauren Culver (Salem, OR), viola
Nolan Peard (Medford, OR), cello

String Quartet in G Major, K. 387  Mozart

  1. Allegro vivace assai

String Quartet No. 2 in D Major  Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)

I.          Allegro moderato

Catalyst Quartet

Kendra DeBolt (Grants Pass, OR), violin
Eunice Sol Kim (Corvallis, OR), violin
Oceana Buckingham (Medford, OR), viola
Rashelle DeBolt (Grants Pass, OR), cello

String Quartet in C Major, K. 465  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

  1. Adagio; Allegro

String Quartet in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1   Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

IV.        Allegro

Resolution Quartet

Elana Cooper (Ashland, OR), violin
Abigail Stahlschmidt (St. Peters, MO), violin
Emma Kinsley (Kirkwood, MO), viola
Kira Weiss, cello (Arcata, CA)

2PM Concert

String Quartet in D Major, Op. 20 No. 4   F.J. Haydn

  1. Allegro di molto

String Quartet in D Major, Op. 44 No. 1  Mendelssohn

I.          Molto allegro vivace

Sun Quartet

William Annab (Belwood, Ontario), violin
Anna Epstein (Ashland, OR), violins
Kailie DeBolt (Grants Pass, OR), viola
David Ryu (North Liberty, IA), cello

String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76 No. 1  F.J. Haydn

  1. Allegro con spirito

String Quartet in D Major, Op. 11  Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

  1. Andante cantabile
  2. Scherzo: Allegro non tanto e con fuoco

Alla Breve Quartet

Julia Hodecker, (Redmond, OR), violin
Brenda Araujo (Brasilia, Brazil), violin
Anne Bewig (St. Louis, MO), viola
Robert Stein (Mt. Jackson, VA), cello

String Quartet in G minor, Op. 74 No. 3 (‘Rider’)  Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

I.          Allegro
II.         Largo assai

String Quartet in Eb Major, Op. 74 (‘Harp’)                Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

I.          Poco adagio; Allegro

Harp Quartet

Rachel Graves (Vancouver, WA), violin
Miya Saito-Beckman (Bend, OR), violin
Lauren Siess (Vancouver, WA), viola
Sean Hamre (Ferguson, MO), cello

String Quartet in F Major

  1. Allegro moderato – Très doux
  2. Assez vif – Très rhythmé

String Quartet Academy Orchestra


2011 String Quartet Academy August 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittinstitute @ 11:40 pm

Sorry for the delay in posting anything about this year’s String Quartet Academy.  We’ve been busy with daily rehearsals, coachings, and master classes with the Arianna String Quartet, finding time and space to practice over at the hotel, and generally enjoying the wonderful weather here in the Southern Oregon.  The students worked on Classical works by Haydn and Mozart during the first week, which culminated in a performance for the opening night of the Britt Classical Season (pictures below). They’ve since been preparing Romantic works by composers ranging from Beethoven to Tchaikovsky in preparation for their final recital on Saturday.  Details regarding the program for Saturday will be determined early tomorrow.

Additionally, the participants have been rehearsing the Ravel String Quartet as a chamber orchestra.  They will perform this work on the Britt Stage tomorrow night at 7:30 to open for the Britt Orchestra Concert.

In the meantime, enjoy some photos taken throughout our time here:


For your listening pleasure…… August 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittinstitute @ 9:59 pm

Sorry it’s taken so long, but I finally got the student recital recordings up online.  You can download them for free.  Because of the recording limitations, the tracks may not line up exactly with the different quartets and pieces, but it’s all there and in the order performed.  You may just have to listen through a bit to find a specific piece.

For those performed in the morning session:

Afternoon session:

I still have photos to get up on the blog, and I’ll try to get that done by the end of the week.

We miss you all and look forward to next year!


A Musical Conversation August 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittinstitute @ 6:36 pm

Hi: Kathy here!

Last night, the Sparrow Hills Quartet played at the Britt Institute Donor Reception on the concert grounds.For those who don’t know, the Britt Institute raises money for student scholarships and Britt’s educational programs.

SQA students benefit directly from the Institute’s efforts. As the Sparrow Hill Quartet played last night, faculty members Joanne Mendoza, David Gilham, John McGrosso and Kurt Baldwin offered the following insights on how string quartets learn to work together organically to interpret the music.

Because there's no leader in a quartet, the members learn to work together as a democracy, with the give and take of the music's rhythm.

The Sparrow Hills Quartet played a Haydn Quartet in G Major. Haydn was the “papa” of string quartets; he created the musical form and had great fun exploring all the possible playing combinations. Mathematically, it adds up to 6 duos and 4 trios possible within a single quartet. That’s a lot of talking going on!  Which is why, just as with spoken language, inflection and expression are so important to meaning. It’s not just about mastering the notes.

The Arianna String Quartet encourages SQA students to sing the music they’re learning to play. If they think in terms of melody and inflection, it becomes easier to express meaning through the instrumental music. It’s a technique Kurt learned in a master class with Issac Stern, who commanded “Sing the music!”

Just playing the notes accurately is only the first step.

A quartet actually takes the stage as a quintet. Playing as if the composer is present, taking part in the conversation, adds to the music.

The conversational flow and destination are all important. Each musician plays with a mutual path and an arrival in mind.

All types of listeners enjoy string quartet performances!


For openers… August 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittinstitute @ 6:46 pm

Hi, Kathy here:

Last Friday night, seven groups of String Quartet Academy students performed on the Britt Hill. They were the “warm up” for the Britt Festival Orchestra’s 2010 opening concert with violinist Chee-Yun . The SQA green-shirted students gave admirable performances. They sounded as if they’d played together for weeks, not just one week! Afterwards, everyone took their seats for the concert and only the crickets on the hill dared make noise while the Britt Orchestra played. Enjoy these photos from the evening. Photos by me. Susan will post her photos of the other two quartets later.

Prussian Quartet

Romance Trio, above.

Sparrow Hills Quartet

Viennese Quartet

Spring Quartet


Monday, Monday August 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — brittinstitute @ 11:54 pm

We had an eventful weekend… well, Sunday anyway.  That was yesterday.  We all had the immense pleasure of seeing the Arianna performance with Alexander Tutunov.  The Bartok was jaw-droppingly good.  Wow.

Then the students went to Oregon Shakespeare Festival and watched a performance on the outdoor green show stage where they’ll be performing tomorrow.  We only have about a half hour of performance time so three quartets will perform and then the full orchestra.  (I’ll try to get some photos up the next day.)

After yesterday’s green show performance, we all went to see She Loves Me there at OSF.  It was really funny and very well done.

Today, back to the mines.  Work, work, work……………  !