Date & Time: Saturday November 20, 2021 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Tickets: $25 General, $20 Seniors/Students
Eventbrite Tickets: Click here
Vita Oscura: the Personal meets the Political
What happens when global events turn our lives upside down? How do these events intersect with our personal lives, often revealing something fundamental about ourselves? Conversely how can something deeply personal become a globally recognized statement of human expression? Circadian String Quartet examines these questions with string quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich, Davide Verrota, and Anton Webern. Two of these quartets respond in a very personal way to world events. Shostakovich’s blistering masterpiece, String Quartet No. 8 is a cathartic and harrowing response to the bombing of Dresden, World War II, and other repressive political forces that hit close to home. Vita Oscura, a brand new commissioned work written especially for Circadian String Quartet by Davide Verotta, charts an emotional response to our present day pandemic upheavals in which rosy future projections must give way to fragile and groping reevaluations. Capping it all off is Anton Webern’s Langsamer Satz, written in 1905 as an expression of the outpouring of love and rapture he felt as he hiked with the woman who would later become his wife. This intimate work, full of longing and tenderness, becomes a universal reminder of our common humanity.
- Dimtri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 (1960)
- In Memory of the Victims of Fascism and War
- Davide Verotta: String Quartet No. 8 (2020-2021)
- Written especially for the Circadian String Quartet
- Anton Webern: Langsamer Satz (1905)
About the Artists
THE CIRCADIAN STRING QUARTET
David Ryther and Monika Gruber, violins
Omid Assadi, viola
David Wishnia, cello
Bay Area based Circadian String Quartet was founded in 2013 to promote the classical and contemporary string quartet repertoire, in particular music of cultural and folkloric significance. Since then, the group has been featured through Mt. Shasta’s Music By the Mountain, Sunset Music | Arts Chamber Music Series in San Francisco, and the Merced Symphony Association. In 2014, the CSQ were invited to collaborate with the St. Petersburg-based Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet during their North American tour. They have also given U.S. premieres of pieces by world-renowned British composer Ian Venables in collaboration with mezzo-soprano Sally Munro of the San Francisco Opera and Natalie Parker, Principal Clarinetist of the San Francisco Ballet.
David Ryther (violin) has brought his interpretive powers as a soloist to such festivals as the Darmstadt Summer Festival of New Music, the Banff center, and the Green Umbrella Series at the Bing theater in Los Angeles. He has been featured playing new music with adventurous ensembles sfSoundGroup, Earplay, San Francisco Contemporary Players, the Berkeley New Music Ensemble, Sonor, and Octagon. He is a founding member of the Presidio String Quartet, a group that specializes in contemporary music. David graduated with highest honors in music from UC Santa Cruz and recently received his doctorate in contemporary violin performance from UC San Diego. David can also be found playing in the Berkeley Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet orchestra and teaching violin at the Crowden School for Music.
Praised by critics for her “irresistibly melting tone, which she can also imbue with gripping fire,” Monika Gruber is a versatile violinist, appearing in concerts throughout the United States and Europe. As violinist of the Eusebius Duo she was invited to perform in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, following the duo’s success as first prize winners of the CMFONE International Chamber Music Competition. Throughout her years of study she was the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, notably the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, which enabled her to continue her studies in the US.
Monika received her training at ‘Hochschule für Musik’ in Weimar, Germany, ‘Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique´ in Lyon, France, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ian Swensen. She is equally active as chamber and orchestra musician, performing lots of modern music in addition to the classical and romantic repertoire, as well as some branching out into baroque music. She has worked in public master classes with musicians such as Norbert Brainin (Amadeusquartett), Samuel Rhodes (Juilliard Quartet), Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio), and Petra Müllejans (Freiburger Barockorchester).
Always eager to share her passion for music in many ways, Monika was a teaching assistant in Weimar while receiving her Teaching Degree, and she continued to teach, instill and foster the love of music in people of all ages ever since. Upon completion of her Masters Degree in San Francisco she was offered a position as violin instructor at SFCM’s Pre-College Division, where she is now also coaching chamber music. Her students are doing well in competitions, and they got accepted into the SF Youth Orchestra as well as into colleges, such as Rice University Shepherd School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music, and UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Native of Iran, Omid Assadi (viola) holds a B.M. and M.M. from San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Jodie Levitz and Bettina Mussumeli. Mr. Assadi is an active ensemble player and soloist; he has concertized with many of the Bay Area’s orchestras and has appeared numerous times as soloist with Golden Gate Philharmonic, City College of San Francisco String Orchestra, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, and Villa Sinfonia. Omid’s love for chamber music has led him to study chamber music with the members of the Kronos String Quartet as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty members. In addition, he has collaborated with Jennifer Culp, Jodi Levitz, Jorja Fleezanis, and with the Shams Ensemble.
David Wishnia (cello) performs regularly with many orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a member of the Villa Piano Trio and the Circadian String Quartet. He holds a Masters of Music in cello from the Yale School of Music.