Polish quartet debuts, pianist makes encore in Tucson

Arizona Friends of Chamber Music opens its 75th season on Wednesday, Oct. 12, with the critically acclaimed Polish string ensemble Apollon Musagète Quartet and pianist Garrick Ohlsson.

This is the first Tucson concert for the quartet and the Friends debut for Ohlsson, who introduced himself to Tucson with Brahms Piano Concerto in 2004 with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Ohlsson returned to Tucson eight years later with Poland’s Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert of Chopin

The Apollon Musgète and Ohlsson were set to play a Friends recital in February 2021, but the concert, like many in the 2020-21 season, was postponed or canceled due to the pandemic.

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The Polish quartet — violinists Paweł Zalejski and Bartosz Zachłod, violist Piotr Szumieł and cellist Piotr Skweres — has been playing together since 2008. It didn’t take them long to become classical music darlings in Europe, performing at prestigious festivals including the Edinburgh International and on the world’s most famous stages, including Wigmore Hall London and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Garrick Ohlsson launched his career in 1970 with his Chopin International Piano Competition win.

Courtesy of Openform

Ohlsson, who launched his career in 1970 with his Chopin International Piano Competition win, will play Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor at Wednesday’s concert, which begins at 7:30 pm at Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. The program also includes Bach’s “The Art of the Fugue” and Krzysztof Penderecki’s String Quartet No. 3 (“Pages from an Unwritten Diary”).

Tickets are $32 for adults, $10 for students with ID at arizonachambermusic.org or at the door. Face coverings are highly encouraged and the venue has a clear bag policy.

Concerts also will be streamed live. For more information call 520-577-3769.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at [email protected] On Twitter @Starburch


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