The Chicago-based Kontras String Quartet will launch its first commercial album, Origins, at a final recital of the season on Sunday, May 10, at Elmhurst College.
Released on MSR Records, Origins features music from the quartet members’ home countries: String Quartet No. 2 “Hunting: Gathering,” by Kevin Volans (South Africa); Japanese Folk Song Suite No. 2, by Hajime Koumatsu (Japan); Three Pieces for String Quartet, by Igor Stravinsky (Russia); and Ramshackle Songs, by Dan Visconti (U.S.).
At the recital, Kontras will perform the album in its entirety. A Q&A reception with composer Dan Visconti will follow the performance.
Hailing from four continents, violinists Dmitri Pogorelov (Russia) and Francois Henkins (South Africa), violist Ai Ishida (Japan) and Elmhurst native and resident Jean Hatmaker (cello) present a global perspective on music making. Ishida and Hatmaker are music faculty at Elmhurst College.
The ensemble has garnered acclaim for their work across the Midwest and South, including for performances with bluegrass sensations The Kruger Brothers on Late Night with David Letterman, and at the MerleFest and IBMA World of Bluegrass festivals. Their first commissioned work, Lucid Dreamer, featured a collaboration with The Kruger Brothers and support from a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant. Lucid Dreamer was released on Double Time Records.
The Kontras String Quartet will perform on Sunday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m. in Buik Recital Hall. General admission is $20 and includes a copy of the Origins CD. Admission is free for Elmhurst College students, faculty and alumni with the presentation of a JayPass. For more information or to order tickets, please visit www.kontrasquartet.com.