Escher String Quartet

Escher String Quartet and guest cellist David Speltz

InConcert Sierra presents a world-class family affair with the Escher String Quartet and guest cellist David Speltz at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19.

The Escher String Quartet is one of the fastest rising stars of North American string quartets. The ensemble features violinists Brendan Speltz and Adam Barnett-Hart, cellist Brook Speltz, and violist Pierre Lapointe. The name Speltz may sound familiar to Nevada County audiences since David Speltz, father of quartet members Brook and Brendan, has performed locally for years as the principal cellist for the InConcert Sierra Orchestra.

The quartet is named after graphic artist M.C. Escher who is noted for his “impossible constructions.” The quartet is also known for impossible constructions due to their simultaneous showcasing of each instrument’s part while melding them into one, for a remarkable sound.

As The Guardian noted, the ensemble’s members display “fabulous unanimity, tonal warmth and care over detail.”

The quartet will perform Webern’s haunting “Six Bagatelles, Op. 9,” Kreisler’s dramatic and playfully beautiful “Quartet in A Minor,” and David Speltz will join the ensemble for Schubert’s remarkable “Quintet for Strings in C Major, D. 956.” Quintets are usually scored for standard string quartet with an extra viola instead of a cello. Many consider Schubert’s String Quintet one of the pinnacle masterpieces in the entire chamber repertoire.

The Escher String Quartet is a former BBC New Generation Artist, performing as a regular guest at London’s Wigmore Hall. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Season Artists of the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

David Speltz was a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner, and served as principal cellist of the California Chamber Orchestra under Henri Temianka. He has also, in the course of 44+ years, played in Hollywood studio orchestras for more than 1,000 movies.

“I can’t think of anything more fulfilling and emotionally satisfying than performing great music with my sons, and on such a high level to boot!” said Speltz.

“What’s great about this occasion is joining my boys in a community so dear to my heart,” Speltz continued. “My wife Connie and I were introduced to Nevada County 18 years ago performing for Indian Springs Vineyard fundraising events. For the past five years, Connie and I have been principals with the InConcert Sierra Orchestra. We really feel like family here! This is my third performance joining the Escher, the second time for the great Schubert C major Quintet.”

Learn more about the family Speltz and the Escher String Quaret members at the pre-concert forum 45 minutes prior to the concert – facilitated by artistic director Ken Hardin.

Tickets are $38 for general admission and are available by phone at 530-273-3990, online at www.inconcertsierra.org (ticketing fees may apply), in person at BriarPatch Co-op and also at the door on the day of the performance. There are a limited number of free youth passes for those 5-17, available with the purchase of a general admission ticket. Please call 530-273-3990 to arrange in advance.

The concert is at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road, Grass Valley. For more information, please call 530-273-3990 or visit www.inconcertsierra.org

Content and photo provided by Brett Bentley, InConcert Sierra