Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Fairmont Chamber Music Society presents the Montclaire String Quartet in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at St. Peter the Fisherman Church, 407 Jackson St., Fairmont.

For tickets, call (304) 291-8277.

The Montclaire String Quartet is celebrating its 13th season in residence with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

The Quartet is comprised of Amelia Chan, violin; Monica Boboc, violin; Sandra Armstrong Groce, viola; and Andrea Di Gregorio, cello. The current season welcomes new members Amelia Chan and Boboc.

In addition to performing its own four-concert series in Charleston and recitals around the state, each of the Quartet members serves as principal in the symphony's string sections. A large part of Montclaire's mission is to bring classical music to children throughout West Virginia. The Quartet plays 40-60 school programs per year. This successful affiliation has placed Montclaire in the heart of the Kanawha Valley community.

Highlights of the past 10 seasons include a concert on the Terrace Theater Series at Washington's Kennedy' Center. A special one-hour TV broadcast of the Quartet's performance on the Arts and Letters Series at the West Virginia Governor's Mansion was seen throughout the state on W.Va. Public Television. In August of 1995, Montclaire was a prizewinner at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in Alberta, Canada.

The Montclaire Quartet was formed in 1982 at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1985 and 1986, the ensemble was awarded a fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival Center for Quartet Studies. Following advanced study in the quartet fellowship program at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Montclaire participated in two highly competitive Juilliard Quartet Seminars at Lincoln Center in New York, which resulted in a "Young Artists Showcase" radio broadcast on WQXR. The Quartet has held two professional residencies previous to West Virginia, at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. For many summers it has been featured as Quartet-in-Residence at the New Hampshire Music Festival.

The Montclaire String Quartet has always been committed to performing contemporary and new music for its audiences. As part of a consortium of four chamber ensembles, the Quartet was awarded a grant to commission a work by composer Morton Subotnik, which was premiered in the 1998-99 season. The Quartet also performs on the national bi-annual composer's competition sponsored by the Putnam County "Museum in the Community" in which members participate in judging and then premiere the winning work. The Quartet was also invited to perform and subsequently record Katherine Hoover's piano quintet, Da Pacem, which has been released on the Koch Classics label.