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Verona Quartet: Stravinsky, Beethoven, and Reena Esmail’s “Ragamala”

Verona Quartet: Stravinsky, Beethoven, and Reena Esmail’s “Ragamala” Online

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/verona-quartet-stravinsky-beethoven-reena-esmails-ragamala-tickets-150956796843

Hear the “Ragamala” string quartet by the Indian American composer Reena Esmail, along with Stravinsky’s jazzy Concertino and Beethoven’s profound String Quartet, op. 131, performed by the most recent winners of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award.

Reena Esmail based “Ragamala” on her experience studying Hindustani classical music in India on a Fulbright-Nehru grant. It will be played alongside Stravinsky’s energetic Concertino, influenced by early jazz rhythms, and Beethoven’s String Quartet, op. 131, which composer Robert Schumann described as having a “grandeur...which no words can express.”

With members from Singapore, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Verona Quartet is in residence at the Oberlin Conservatory and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, and Melbourne Recital Hall, in addition to appearances at La Jolla Summerfest, Chamber Music Northwest, and Bravo! Vail.  

Each movement of “Ragamala” is based on a different raga (melodic mode), moving from a vivacious setting of the raga Malkauns to a quiet movement on the contemplative raga Basant, then to a complex exploration of raga Jog, and finally a fantasy on raga Bihag.  The composer notes, “In Hindustani music, the elaboration of a single raga can often take an hour. I didn’t mean for this piece to exhaust these ragas, but rather provide little snapshots of particular features and characters of each raga that I find beautiful and special about each one.”

Reena Esmail is composer-in-residence with the Seattle Symphony and the Los Angeles Master Chorale and was a Citizen Artist Fellow at the Kennedy Center. Her works have been commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, Imani Winds, Chicago Sinfonietta, Juilliard415, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. In addition to earning music degrees from Juilliard and Yale, she also studied Hindustani classical music under a Fulbright-Nehru grant with Srimati Lakshmi Shankar and Gaurav Mazumdar. Her doctoral dissertation at Yale addressed common ground between Western and Hindustani art music traditions. She is an artistic director of Shastra, which promotes cross-cultural music connecting traditions of India and the West, and she currently lives in Los Angeles.

This event is made possible in part through support from Chamber Music America and is part of the 28th season of the Bill and Mary Meyer Concert Series.

This event is not being hosted by the SJR State Library. We are sharing news of this free event because it is related to the curriculum offered at the College and, therefore, may be of interest to our students, faculty, and staff.  

Thursday, May 20, 2021
7:30pm - 9:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
  Community Members     SJR State Employees     SJR State Students  
  Exploration - Asian Pacific American Heritage     Partner or non-profit agency event  
This is an online event. Event URL: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/verona-quartet-stravinsky-beethoven-reena-esmails-ragamala-tickets-150956796843