Quartet will highlight oboe, flute

January 26, 2006|by KRISTIN WILSON

The Gallery Quartet's upcoming concert will pay tribute to the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birth with performances of some of the composer's more unique chamber music arrangements.

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts' quartet-in-residence will be joined by pianist Carl Banner, oboist Ed Stanley and flutist Barbara Spicher.

On the concert bill are the only oboe quartet Mozart is known to have written and one of his four flute quartets. The song is part of the Gallery Quartet's last concert of the 2005-06 season.


Stanley, an assistant professor of the oboe at Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, will be featured in Mozart's Oboe Quartet in F Major. Spicher will play with the quartet's cello, viola and violin in Mozart's Flute Quartet in D Major.

Banner will start the concert playing Piano Quartet, Op. 21, by composer Herbert Howells.

Howells, a lesser known English composer who wrote music throughout the 20th century, completed the Piano Quartet while he was still a student, says Jere Stern, viola player and original member of the Gallery Quartet.

"He composed (Piano Quartet, Op. 21) while he was finishing his studies at a conservatory in England," Stern says. "This work was so good that his professors insisted that he enter it into a big, nationwide contest. It's a beautiful work inspired by his love of the English countryside."

Banner, a pianist based in the Washington, D.C., area, is founder and director of Washington Musica Viva, a chamber music group that performs classical and contemporary music, Stern says.

The Gallery Quartet has been the quartet-in-residence at the museum for 29 years. The museum's performance space is acoustically and aesthetically ideal for a chamber group, Stern says.

Stanley will play with the quartet as a guest musician for the first time. In addition to his position at Gettysburg College, he is an adjunct instructor of oboe and the English horn at Hood College in Frederick, Md. He performs regularly with the Appalachian Wind Quintet and has appeared with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.

Spicher has performed with the Gallery Quartet before. She says she enjoys playing Mozart's flute music.

The Flute Quartet in D Major "is one of Mozart's most beautiful melodies for the flute," she says. "The second movement is absolutely sublime. It's Mozart at his best."

Spicher is an adjunct instructor of flute at Hood College and teaches at Mercersburg Academy. She also plays regularly with the Appalachian Wind Quintet and the Hood College Chamber Players.

Gallery Quartet founder Stern will be joined by longtime quartet members Mark Kapeluck on violin and Vsevolod Lezhnev on cello for the Jan. 29 concert. The guest musicians will rotate in to complete the quartet.

If you go ...

WHAT: Gallery Quartet concert

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29

WHERE: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown

COST: Free

MORE: For more information go to or call 301-739-5727.

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