performance & COLLABORATION
The Kontras Quartet will present a curated concert focusing on a musical or programmatic theme, prefaced by a pre-concert talk. Please see our list of current programs.
For a more intimate and in-depth exploration of an idea, an era, a composer, or a single musical work, the Kontras Quartet will intersperse performance with history, analysis and anecdotes. Audience interaction is welcomed.
FACULTY & STUDENT COLLABORATION
With enough time to rehearse, the Kontras Quartet will join forces with faculty and/or students. Examples of past collaborations include:
- Expanded chamber groups - Please see our repertoire list for suggested quintets, sextets and more.
- Musical Metamorphoses - A thought-provoking program designed to complement a college literature course. Musical selections were chosen to illustrate the classic psychological formula of the 7 stages of coping, showing that music functions as an emotional outlet for composers and listeners alike.
- Haydn's musical meditations on The Seven Last Words of Christ, accompanied by the reflections of campus and community spiritual leaders. A beautiful remembrance at Easter time.
Student chamber music groups are invited to present a single movement or complete work in public performance and receive feedback from members of the Kontras Quartet. Topics that we like to focus on include conveying the character of the music, historical approaches to style, and how to be open and engaged with your partners.
For residencies of more substantial length, members of the Kontras Quartet can provide multiple coachings to chamber music groups that are able to rehearse frequently and incorporate coaching ideas into their development.
DISCUSSION ON THE ART OF ENSEMBLE PLAYING
While music students are often taught to focus on the technical aspects of their individual playing, a solid instrumental foundation is not enough to achieve success as an ensemble. The Kontras Quartet will lead a discussion with students and faculty about what it means to play chamber music, how to give and receive criticism, and address ideas such as openness, awareness, and empathy.
ORCHESTRA COACHING & SIDE-BY-SIDE PERFORMANCE
Members of the Kontras Quartet have a wealth of orchestral experience as performers, including the Johannesburg Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, The Knights (Brooklyn, NY), the Cincinnati Symphony, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, to name a few. The quartet can provide coaching for string sections and sit in with the orchestra for rehearsals or performances.
Competitions and orchestral auditions can play a big part in the careers of young performers, and there is an art to successfully navigating the rigorous demands of these performances. Through coachings or master classes, Kontras can provide feedback on orchestral excerpts and guidance on choosing repertoire, practice routines, and how to manage audition day.