Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “one of the greatest quartets of our time,” the Pro Arte Quartet will perform May 14 at The Ridges Sanctuary’s Cook-Albert Fuller Center in Baileys Harbor in a concert presented by Midsummer’s Music Festival. The Pro Arte Quartet is believed to be the world’s oldest continuously performing string quartet and the first quartet anywhere to enjoy a university ensemble-in-residence status.
The evening’s repertoire features Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s String Quartet No. 3, Anton Webern’s Langsamer Satz, and Ottorino Respighi’s Quartetto Dorico.
The Quatuor Pro Arte of Brussels, first formed in 1911-12, was performing at the Wisconsin Union Theatre on the UW campus on May 10, 1940, when Belgium was overrun and occupied by Nazi forces, turning three of its original four musicians into war orphans. By October of that year, the group had officially become the UW Pro Arte Quartet, making it the school’s first artist ensemble-in-residence.
Current musicians in the Pro Arte Quartet are violinists Suzanne Beia and David Perry, violist Sally Chisholm and cellist Parry Karp.
Midsummer’s Music Festival President and co-founder Jim Berkenstock said, “The Pro Arte musicians are masterful, energetic performers who exemplify both warmth and precision through their impressive skills. Listeners can become thoroughly engrossed in the ensemble’s beautiful, intense and passionate music.”
The Pro Arte Quartet concert begins at 7 pm. Adult tickets are $30, students $10, and children 12 are under free. A reception for the audience to meet and mingle with the musicians follows the program.