The Zelter String Quartet – the 2021 Chesapeake Music International Chamber Music Competition winner – will perform live at the Ebenezer Theater on October 23rd. The concert will also be live-streamed. Their exciting program will include Mozart’s “Hunt” String Quartet No. 17 in B-flat Major, Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, and traditional Nordic folk music selections, arranged by the renowned Danish String Quartet. “We wanted to present a program with a wide variety of repertoire that would be enjoyable for the audience: something Classical (Mozart), Romantic (Ravel), and something fun and unique that they might not typically hear (Nordic folk music selections),” explained Quartet cellist Allan Hon.
Featured in their program is Ravel’s string quartet – written when the composer was 28 years old. It is one of the best-known and widely performed works in the string quartet repertoire and dazzles with impressionistic “colors” and “textures” that also showcase the composer’s enduring classical sense of form, his modern yet tonal melodies, and an overarching rhythmic vitality. “We also chose to include Danish folk tunes to spice up the program, as these songs are fun, unique, and full of beauty and life. Folk music is the music of the people; it represents the characteristics of different nationalities, regardless of ethnicity or race, and we hope that our audience members might be able to connect with them, whether it be on a musical or a personal level,” continued Allan.
The members of the Zelter String Quartet – violinists Gallia Kastner and Kyle Gilner, violist Nao Kubota, and cellist Allan Hon – not only play music, but also are active on social media. They have Instagram accounts dedicated to sharing their practice through short videos. Allan and Gallia also often enjoy playing video games with their friends, particularly Nintendo games; and they stay physically active, engaging in outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. Moreover, when not practicing or performing, they enjoy photography, cooking, traveling, and exploring new places. Based in Los Angeles, they also enjoy the cuisine culture of the area – especially the exotic – a favorite being boba (aka “bubble tea” made from tapioca).
When asked “What is special to you about the music you will perform?,” Allan responded, “It’s always special to learn (and re-learn) and be able to perform these great string quartet works, because there’s always more to discover with each time you play them and encounter them at different stages in your life – it’s a continuous and fulfilling journey and process.” And what first attracted the quartet members to classical music? Kyle came from a non-classical music family but began playing violin at the age of 13 in a public performing-arts charter middle school. He fell in love with playing in ensembles of all kinds as well as learning and performing the solo repertoire. Gallia at age 4 picked up a violin and began to practice all night. Her passion was to solo in front of an orchestra, a goal which she achieved already at a young age. Nao, who did come from a musical family, was surrounded by classical music since birth and particularly loved chamber music and string quartets. And Allan’s mother was a piano teacher, so he was exposed to classical music at a young age. In elementary school, he went to a music assembly where they showcased different instruments, and he was immediately drawn to the cello and the sound that it produced. He quickly began exploring the cello repertoire, playing in ensembles and orchestras.
Chesapeake Music is proud to present live for the first time the 2021 Lerman Gold Prize Winner – The Zelter String Quartet.
By James Carder
ZELTER STRING QUARTET
October 23, 2021 at 7:30 PM
The Ebenezer Theater, Easton
For ticket information please go here.