For the last twenty years, MU’s faculty string ensemble-in-residence, the Esterhazy Quartet, has traveled to Berklee College of Music in Boston for their annual guest residency focusing on new music for string quartet. The residency began when Berklee faculty composer Andrew List, originally from St. Louis and familiar with the Quartet, contacted a friend who was playing with the Esterhazy Quartet at the time and invited the quartet to come work with student composers. Not having a quartet in residence at their institution, Dr. List and his colleagues were interested in giving their students hands on training and enhancing their knowledge in writing for the string quartet.
During their week of residency, the Esterhazy Quartet rehearses, workshops and records approximately ten original compositions selected from entries by Berklee students to this annual competition. The residency also includes a lecture recital and concert by the quartet, an event open to the public. The quartet works hard, devoting nearly 25 hours of work during the week and they are pleased with the outcome and proud of the collaborative effort. Eva Szekely, Esterhazy member, comments, “over the last twenty years from 450+ submissions, 230 works by student composers were workshopped and recorded by the Esterhazy Quartet. The residency is the longest running visiting program event at Berklee and has served as a model for similar events in other areas of the school.”
In celebration of Esterhazy’s twentieth guest residency, Berklee invited faculty composers who have had a long time relationship with the residency to be part of the anniversary program. On October 20, the Esterhazy Quartet presented compositions by Berklee faculty members Marti Epstein, Andrew List, Dennis LeClaire, and Arnold Friedman, two of the works being world premieres. They will present the same program this Friday, October 28 at 7:30 pm in Whitmore Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the MU campus. Admission is free for MU students, faculty & staff with ID and is $5 for all other patrons.