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March 12, 2023 4:00 pm

Tickets $15 in advance here; $20 or pay what you can at the door.

In the intimate, friendly space of historic Allegheny Church, great music deeply rooted in the soul and the people.

The 8th quartet of Dmitri Shostakovich is one of the most important works of the 20th century. It is a spiritual journey, a soulful exploration of the tragedy of World War II, of our response to evil. Shostakovich puts himself at the center of the problem by building the entire work around the series of notes D, E flat, C, B – which in German is D Es C H: D for Dmitri, SCH for Shostakovich. The 8th quartet pays tribute to the suffering of European Jews in its use of traditional Jewish melodies.

Adolphus Hailstork writes many pieces out of the African-American experience. His one-movement work for string quartet, Variations on Swing, Low, Sweet Chariot, treats the spiritual tune in a variety of surprising ways.

Lighter, happier emotions will be expressed when bassist Gino Faraci joins the Academy Quartet for arrangements by founding member Warren Davidson of songs and dances from Croatia, Serbian songs from Kosovo, and tango tunes. Dr. Davidson has spent many years performing and teaching music from Slavic nations and in recent years has been a devotee of Argentine tango. Dancers welcome!

The Academy Quartet, active since 2006, is violinists Jorie Butler-Geyer and Leah Givelber, violist Warren Davidson, and cellist Robin Hasenpflug.