Tesla Quartet set for Tulsa residency next week with variety of activities
BY JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
Sunday, February 10, 2013
2/10/13 at 6:06 AM
For Bruce Sorrell, the week of activities that the Tesla Quartet will be doing this coming week in Tulsa is an example of the adage, "Be careful what you wish for - you may get it."
"We had been talking for some time about expanding the outreach programs we do," said Sorrell, executive director of Chamber Music Tulsa. "One of the things was to do longer residencies with some of the groups we bring to town.
"But it was always something of a long-term goal that we'd get to farther on down the road," he said.
Then Sorrell and other leaders with Chamber Music Tulsa met last year with Teresa Collins of the Albert and Hete Barthelmes Foundation.
"The foundation has been one of our faithful supporters," Sorrell said, "and when the subject of having a group spend a week or so in Tulsa doing performances and workshops came up, Teresa said that was something the foundation would want to do.
"So it was kind of thrown in our laps as a friendly challenge," he said.
The result is "Love Letters from Tesla," a weeklong series of events that will have the award-winning Tesla Quartet performing everywhere from retirement homes to bus stations, conducting master classes and workshop sessions with younger players, culminating in a public concert Feb. 17 at the Tulsa PAC.
That concert will feature a performance of "Love Letters," a string quartet by composer Carter Pann. Pann, who teaches at the University of Colorado-Boulder where the Tesla Quartet was quartet in residence for four years, will also be in Tulsa this week.
Pann will meet with student composers at the University of Tulsa and work with the Tulsa Camerata, which will also feature a Pann composition as part of its "Transfigured Love" concert Thursday. He will also give a pre-concert talk about his music prior to the Feb. 17 concert.
"Having Carter Pann here is something that was in the works before I came here," said Sorrell, who has held the executive director position for a year. "The selection committee wanted to have the 'Love Letters' quartet on this program, and thought it would be possible to have him come here, as well."
Pann's appearance in Tulsa is underwritten in part through a New Music USA grant.
The Tesla Quartet - violinists Ross Snyder and Michelle Lie, violist Megan Mason and cellist Kimberly Patterson - formed in 2008 when its members were students at the Juilliard School in New York. Last year, the quartet won the gold medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and third prize at the London International String Quartet Competition.
The quartet has also made education an integral part of its mission, including its participation in the Musical Odysseys Reaching Everyone (MORE) program of the Aspen Music Festival, and coaching young string quartets.
"We probably couldn't have a better quartet to do this project than the Tesla," Sorrell said. "They are very active in bringing music to whatever community they work in, and not just in the concert hall.
"And that's what we want to accomplish with events like this," Sorrell said. "We want to share with people how much we value this music, to show how music is a life-enriching experience.
"We're all just hoping we're all still able to be standing once this week is over," he said, laughing.
'Love Letters from Tesla' schedule
Wednesday - Central Library, Fourth Street and Denver Avenue, noon
Thursday - Tulsa Transit Denver Avenue Station, Fourth Street and Denver Avenue, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday - Open rehearsal, Harwelden, 2210 S. Main St. 11 a.m.
Thursday - Tulsa Camerata "Transfigured Love" with composer Carter Pann. Philbrook Museum, 2727 S. Rockford Road. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20. tulsaworld.com/camerata
Saturday - Tesla Quartet Salon concert. Tulsa PAC, 110 E. Second St. 7:30 p.m. By subscription only. 918-587-3802.
Feb. 17 - Tesla Quartet in concert. Tulsa PAC, 3 p.m. Tickets: $5-$25. 918-596-7111, tulsaworld.com/mytix
Original Print Headline: Tesla Quartet set for Tulsa residency
James D. Watts Jr. 918-581-8478
The Tesla Quartet will be performing throughout Tulsa this week, culminating in a concert Feb. 17 at the Tulsa PAC. Courtesy