Mid-Day String Strike

Mid-Day String Strike

Shelby Pendowski

The audience chatted away prior to the performance of the Perugino String Quartet on Feb. 19. With the first strike of the violin, though, the auditorium of Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeWitt Center fell silent.

Violinists Eric Tanner and Barbara Corbato, cellist Stacey Bosman Tanner and GVSU assistant professor of violin Gregory Maytan are the Perugino String Quartet. The group, GVSU’s affiliate string quartet, has previously performed for the Arts at Noon series and welcomed the invitation to return to perform again.

“A lot of reasons (people should attend performances): they get exposed to new, familiar styles of music and get to see what it’s like put together live in a quartet setting, which is totally different from a large band or ensemble,” Tanner said.

The quartet performed two pieces by American composer Aaron Copland and four pieces by composer Felix Mendelssohn, composed chiefly in the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn’s pieces, inspired by the passing of his sister, incorporate the angst he felt from the loss with the Romantic style. It is the juxtaposition of the harmony in Copeland’s pieces and the vigor in Medelssohn’s pieces that inspired the group to pair them together for this performance, Tanner said.

Arts at Noon was created to bring various performance and visual opportunities to GVSU. Since the series’ inception, the weekly event has featured musicians, artists and dancers.

“String quartets, I guess, aren’t that common,” Bosman Tanner said. “So it’s a treat to hear all these composers, and the repertoire is amazing.”

Following the performance, the group felt great about the live interpretation of the program’s repertoire. This was the second occasion that the quartet performed this set list and the earlier performance made this one even better, said Bosman Tanner.

“I always think it is neat for a student to be able to experience a live classical performance,” Maytan said. “One of the things we like to do a lot is encourage students to go to concerts…it is very different than just turning on a TV.”