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Duke Arts Presents

The Ciompi Quartet: SOL Variations

Saturday, October 28, 2023 | 8:00 pm

Baldwin Auditorium

Featuring Gabrielius Alekna, piano

Our resident ensemble, The Ciompi Quartet, begins their season this evening with a quartet by Haydn, reviving a Ciompi tradition. They follow with a dynamic set of comparatively contemporary works by three female composers. Sofia Gubaidulina and Shelley Washington both organized their works around Sol (the pitch G), but they go in remarkably different directions. Gubaidulina probes the question “existence vs. essence” whereas Washington explores a place she calls “Home of the Heart, Heart of the Home.” Revered Polish composer Graźyna Bacewicz gave us one of the best piano quintets of the era: romantic, dramatic, forward-looking.


Performers & Program


Eric Pritchard, violin
Hsiao-mei Ku, violin
Jonathan Bagg, viola
Caroline Stinson, cello

Featuring Gabrielius Alekna, piano


Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, Op. 74 #1
Sofia Gubaidulina: String Quartet #2 (1987)
Shelley Washington: Middleground for String Quartet (2017)
Graźyna Bacewicz: Piano Quintet #1 (1952) with Gabrielius Alekna, piano

This event is presented in partnership with the Duke University Department of Music.

String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op 154 (1918)

Ciompi Quartet - I. Allegro molto e con fuoco (Octet in F Major, Op. 17) - Niels Gade

"From beginning to end the playing sounded intelligent and sure, softened at the edges with a full and mellow tone.”

The New York Times