Ralston String Quartet performs Friday


Ethan Schobernd, Campus Reporter

The Ralston String Quartet received a standing ovation after their performance in the Recital Hall at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Friday night.

With a nearly sold-out show, the group performed three different pieces from Joseph Haydn, Gabriela Lena Frank and Antonín Dvořák.

When the quartet was finished and started their bows, the entire audience rose with applause.

Emily Ross, a sophomore music education major, shared her enjoyment of the performance the group put on.

“I thought the performance was exhilarating,” Ross said. “There was so much variety between each piece that I was kept on my toes the whole time. From Baroque to more contemporary pieces, they were able to tell a story through each one. It was obvious that each of the members of the quartet have such a passion for music performance.”

The quartet’s first piece was composed by the classical composer, Joseph Haydn. They played his four movements from “String Quartet in B minor Op. 22 No. 1.” Each movement contrasted each other in speed and style.

Each of the musicians used strong movements and breathing techniques to communicate with each other throughout the piece.

Ross talked about the way the string players communicated with each other as they were playing.

“My biggest educational take away from the performance is definitely the silent communication between each member of the quartet,” Ross said. “The first violinist especially communicated so much through body language and facial expressions. Each of them moved expressively in their own ways while keeping an intense synchronization of the music.”

She also provided her point of view of watching the quartet perform being a string player herself.

“As a music education student with an instrumental focus in cello, I tried to take lots of mental note,” said Ross.

The second piece was called “Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout.” This was a more contemporary piece written by Gabriela Lena Frank.

The piece combined a multitude of styles and techniques from the string quartet to mimic the sounds of different instruments to tell stories.

The Ralston Sting Quartet plucked their strings and stomped their feet throughout the piece’s six movements: “Toyos,” “Tarqueda,” “Himno de Zampañas,” “Chasqui,” “Chanto de Velorio,” and “Coqueteos.”

The final piece was written by the Czech composer, Antonín Dvořák was titled “String Quartet No. 12 in F, Op. 96, ‘American.’”

Dvořák wrote the piece during a time when America was known as the “New World.” He composed the string quartet to interpret the sounds that would capture the essence of America, hence the inclusion of “American” in the title.

Ross talked about how the Ralston String Quartet has inspired her as a musician.

“This is something I’m striving for as a I’m currently learning similar techniques to use in a small ensemble setting,” Ross said. “I was actually able to receive some guidance on this from the quartet themselves the day before the performance during their master class!”

After watching the Ralston String Quartet, Ross said she would like to watch them again.

“I would love to attend another performance,” Ross said. “They were so enjoyable to watch as well as educational, so I would definitely take the opportunity to see them again.”


Ethan Schobernd can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].