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Ready to debut

[Isabel Quartet]
The Isabel String Quartet, from left, Scott St. John, Gisèle Dalbec-Szczesniak, Sharon Wei and Wolf Tormann, will perform its inaugural concert at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, June 29. (Supplied Image)

A performance venue the quality of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts deserves a musical ensemble that matches its excellence.

Enter the Isabel String Quartet.

[Isabel Quartet Logo]The members of the quartet – Queen’s faculty members Gisèle Dalbec-Szczesniak (violin) and Wolf Tormann (cello), along with Sharon Wei (viola) and Scott St. John (violin) – are all experienced professional musicians at the top of the respective fields.   

Not surprising, there is a sense of excitement surrounding the quartet’s upcoming inaugural performance at the Isabel on Wednesday, June 29, at 7:30 pm.

“For many lovers of classical music, the string quartet exemplifies the epitome of chamber music and composers have certainly penned some of their finest and most intimate music for this ensemble,” says John Burge (Music), coordinator of the Faculty Artist Series.Knowing all the Isabel Quartet members personally and being in great admiration of their distinctive talents and musicianship, I look forward to hearing the results of their collaboration. What a great opportunity to be in the audience at their very first concert.”

It is also hoped that the quartet’s strength will support the Dan School of Drama and Music’s goal of developing new initiatives to enhance the recruitment of students into the school’s programs by communicating the commitment, leadership and strengths of Queen's and Kingston in support of the performing arts.

The concert will include the Burge String Quartet No. 1, Bartok String Quartet No. 3, and Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in d minor, D.810 “Death and the Maiden.”

The creation of the quartet and performance has proven to be an exciting development for the musicians as well.

“I have worked with my colleagues on the idea of establishing a quartet in residence at the Dan School of Drama and Music now for over a year. To see this idea develop and gain momentum so quickly has been one of the most exciting times in my musical career,” Tormann says, an instructor for Cello at Queen’s. “It is an absolute privilege to work with such amazing musicians like Scott St. John, Sharon Wei and Gisèle Dalbec in a string quartet setting and we would like to invite all chamber music lovers in Kingston to be part of this amazing inaugural concert.” 

Tickets are available by calling (613) 533-2424 (Monday-Friday, 12:30-4:30 pm) or online at theisabel.ca.

The Isabel String Quartet will also perform Sunday, Oct. 2 at 2:30 pm in the first of four concerts that make up the 2016/17 Faculty Artist Series. Tickets are available online.