One of the nicest ways to help a graduate student composer gets his or her work heard is to have a major string quartet come and play that work. That's just what FLUX Quartet has done for the past 5 or 6 years. Each autumn, they return to Wesleyan and perform a concert of new works by the young composers. It was professor-composer Alvin Lucier who helped bring the Quartet to campus and it's the quality of the music that brings them back each year.
FLUX members include founder Tom Chiu (violin), Conrad Harris (violin), Max Mandel (viola) and Ha Yang-Kim (cello.) Since its inception in the early '90s, the quartet has championed new music, recording and performing major works by Morton Feldman, Annie Gosfield and Matthew Welch.
At Wesleyan this Thursday, they'll be performing pieces by Sally Norris, Max Heath, Ivan Naranjo and Brian Parks. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. in Crowell Concert Hall. It's free and well worth your time.
3 masters of their respective instruments are coming to the Crowell Concert Series on Saturday at 8 p.m. Eugene Friesen (cello), Howard Levy (harmonica, piano) and Glen Velez (percussion) have performed in ensembles ranging from the Paul Winter Consort to Bela Fleck & The Flecktones to Dolly Parton to the Steve Reich Ensemble. When they get together to play their own music, they become Trio Globo.
How best to describe the experience? One will hear fiery rhythms, soft ballads, songs that blend elements of classical music with jazz as well as works that mix Asian-Indian melodies and percussion with the lilt of Brazilian music. In other words, go with an open mind and enjoy. Levy, well-known for his impressive harmonica playing, is a fine pianist and Friesen's cello work, both bowed and plucked, gives the music great depth. Velez's percussion is subtle and graceful but can also bring one right out of their seat with its power.
For ticket information, call 860-685-3355 or go to www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.