When the Marian Anderson String Quartet came together in September 1989, they had no idea that they would made history just three years later when they won the International Cleveland Quartet Competition, becoming the first African-American ensemble to win a classical music competition.
InConcert Sierra will present this award-winning quartet to Grass Valley at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The quartet is named for the great contralto Marian Anderson.
The quartet’s distinguished history includes performances throughout the United States and abroad, including the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
In 1993, the Marian Anderson String Quartet performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of the 52nd presidential inaugural celebration.
The Marian Anderson String Quartet has also been on the faculty of numerous universities throughout the country.
“I was intrigued when I first ran across the MASQ by their story and their championing the music of African-American composers.
“I was delighted upon listening to them to find that they are truly an accomplished performance ensemble,” said Ken Hardin, artistic director.
The quartet will perform “Danzas of Panama” by William Grant Still, an African-American classical composer who also made history as the first African-American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, the first to have a symphony performed by a leading orchestra and the first to have an opera performed by a major opera company.
The quartet will also perform a traditional spiritual,“Calvary”; followed by “String Quartet No. 1,” which is based on the spiritual “Calvary” by African-American composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and complete the concert with “String Quartet in A-minor Opus 13” by Felix Mendelssohn.
“This is a really neat program,” said musicologist and pre-concert forum hostess Aileen James.
“I have performed the music of William Grant Still and really look forward to hearing the Marian Anderson String Quartet.”
The concert is sponsored by the Porter family in memory of Virginia Porter and B&C True Value Home and Garden Center.
Tickets are $26 for general admission, and youth ages 5-17 are free with adult. Tickets can be purchased at BriarPatch Co-op, the Nevada City Box Office at Miners Foundry or online at www.inconcertsierra.org, or call 530-273-3990 for information.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is located at 12889 Osborne Hill Road, Grass Valley.