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Orange County Performing Arts Center's 2010-11 Concert Series to showcase string quartets

March 25, 2010 |  7:30 pm
EmersonThe Orange County Performing Arts Center will celebrate the art and craft of string-quartet playing with its 2010-11 Concert Series. The five performances, all in Samueli Theater in Costa Mesa, will feature two ensembles in return engagements and three groups making center debuts.

The series will begin Oct. 1 with the Emerson String Quartet, which will present a concert of Webern, Berg and Debussy. Since its founding in 1976, the group has produced more than 30 recordings and won a raft of Grammys, including the 2010 award for chamber music performance. This will be its 15th visit to Orange County.

Next up on Nov. 11 will be the Szymanowski Quartet, which was founded in Warsaw in 1995. Its program will consist of pieces by Schubert, Beethoven and Karol Szymanowski, the Polish composer for whom the ensemble is named.

The 6-year-old Pacifica Quartet will appear on Jan. 15, playing works by Beethoven and contemporary American composer Jennifer Higdon. The group won the 2009 Grammy for chamber music performance for its recording of Elliott Carter quartets.

The Mandelring Quartet is scheduled for Feb. 24. The 27-year-old German ensemble, which includes three siblings, will perform  Mendelssohn, Bartok and Mozart.

Concluding the series on May 5 will be the St. Lawrence String Quartet in its third appearance at the center. The Canadian ensemble, which recently marked is 20th anniversary, will present a program of Beethoven, Mozart and the Southern California premiere of a work by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: The Emerson String Quartet performs at OCPAC in 2007. Credit: Los Angeles Times