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The St. Petersburg String Quartet Returns, First Concert Slated for Tuesday, Sept, 21, 8 p.m., Finney Chapel


Quartet No. 1, Op 30 (1930)
S. Prokofiev

• Allegro
• Andante Molto. Vivace
• Andante

Quartet No. 2, Op 92
S. Prokofiev

• Allegro sostenuto
• Adagio
• Allegro. Andante molto. Allegro


Quartet No. 1, Op 11 in D-Major

• Moderato e simplice
• Andante cantabile
• Allegro non tanto econ fuoco
• Allegro giusto




The St. Petersburg String Quartet has returned to the Conservatory for a 1999-2000 residency that will offer public performances and master classes, and private coachings with students. The group's first performance is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m., in Finney Chapel. The concert, which will offer works by Prokofiev and Tchakovsky, is free and open to the public.

The quartet is composed of Alla Aranovskaya (1st violin), Ilya Teplyakov (2nd violin), Aleksey Koptev (viola) and Leonid Shukaev (cello). During its 1997-98 residency at Oberlin, the quartet performed the complete cycle of fifteen Shostakovich string quartets. They returned to Oberlin last April for a concert in Finney Chapel.

About the St. Petersburg String Quartet

The St. Petersburg String Quartet's rise to fame has included a Grammy nomination, Best Record of the Month honors in both Stereo Review and Gramophone, an opening night performance at Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, and hundreds of concerts on the most prestigious music series and festivals of North America, Europe and Asia. 1999-2000 will see the release on Hyperion of the complete Shostakovich cycle, and on Delos of Quartets Nos.1 & 2 by Prokofiev and the much-acclaimed Quartet No.1 by Georgian composer Zurab Nadarejshvili.

The Quartet was formed in 1985 by graduates of the Leningrad Conservatory under the guidance of Vladimir Ovcharek, first violinist of the Taneyev String Quartet. Early in their musical career, the Quartet (then called "String Quartet of the Leningrad Conservatory Named after N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov") won First Prize at the All-Soviet Union String Quartet Competition. Soon after, they were awarded the title of Laureate, and the Special Prize for the best performance of the required work, Shostakovich's Quartet No.7, at the First International Shostakovich Competition for String Quartets (Leningrad, 1987). That success was followed by invitations to tour in the USSR and abroad. In 1987, the ensemble performed in concert halls throughout Russia, made its first recordings for radio and TV, and participated in various festivals.

The quartet was granted permission in 1989 to take the name "Leningrad String Quartet" and to travel to Tokyo to compete in the International Competition of Chamber Ensembles, where they won the Silver Medal and a Special Prize. In the summer of 1989, the Quartet visited the USA for the first time, as Artists-in-Residence at the Musicorda Festival and String Program in Massachusetts, now a mainstay of their musical life. After a short rest in New England, the Quartet began preparing for a new competition, the Vittorio Gui International Competition for Chamber Ensembles in Florence, Italy, where they won First Prize and both Special Prizes.

In July 1991, the Quartet competed at International Competition for Chamber Ensembles in Melbourne, Australia, and won First Prize and the "Grand Prix Musica Viva." Intensive periods of international touring followed. In August 1991, events took place in Russia that influenced the life of all Russians, including the ensemble. Their native city changed its name and so did the quartet. Since September 1991, the group has been known as the St. Petersburg String Quartet.

Sony Classical released CDs of the St. Petersburg Quartet playing the Complete Quartets of Tchaikovsky, Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 of Borodin and Quartets Nos.3, 5 & 7 of Shostakovich, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996 and chosen "Best Record of the Month" in Stereo Review and Gramophone.

The Quartet spent the 1997-98 year as Quartet in Residence at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and performed more than 70 performances in the U.S. and abroad. In 1998-99, they made débuts in London's Wigmore Hall, performed in a number of British festivals including Aldeburgh, made Canadian débuts in Montreal, Toronto and Ottowa, and continued their active touring in the U.S., including appearances on Lincoln Center's Great Performances series, and at the 92nd Street Y in New York. The residency at Oberlin continues in 1999-2000.

In the Summer of 1999, the Quartet coached at Charles Castleman's Quartet Program at Bucknell University and the 92nd St. Y School of Music, and performed throughout the United States, Great Britain, Belgium and Holland.

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