November 9, 2000 Library of Congress Hosts Miró and Wihan String Quartets

Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

The Library of Congress will echo with the sounds of Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak and Samuel Barber next month as two of today's most exciting young classical music ensembles -- the Wihan Quartet and the locally based Miró String Quartet - demonstrate their versatility in live performances.

The music begins Friday, December 1, at 8 p.m., when the Wihan Quartet performs a program of Beethoven, Dvorak and Jancek in the Coolidge Auditorium. Founded in 1985 while its members were studying at the Prague Academy, the Wihan Quartet has played in major venues throughout Europe, including the Opera de Bastille, Wigmore Hall, and Concertgebouw, claiming numerous first prizes at music competitions and recording 14 discs, including an ongoing Beethoven cycle.

On Friday, December 8, at 8 p.m., the Miró String Quartet will appear in the Coolidge Auditorium for a program that includes two American works, Samuel Barber's rarely performed Quartet, op. 11, and the Washington premiere of Maurice Gardner's Quartet No. 4. Also on the program is Schubert's Quartet in D Minor, the famous "Death and the Maiden."

The Miró Quartet was founded in 1995 at the Oberlin Conservatory and met with immediate success, including a first prize at the 1998 Banff International String Quartet Competition. Recently named one of the four "Young Ensembles of the Future" by Chamber Music America, the quartet is currently based in Washington and has appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and venues across the world.

The quartets by American composers Barber and Gardner are performed as part of the Library's "I Hear America Singing" celebration, a three-year series of concerts, commissions, recordings and educational programs that explore the breadth and significance of music in America from Colonial days to the end of the 20th century. The series is currently marking the centenary of legendary composer Aaron Copland's birth.

Free tickets for the December 1 and December 8 recitals will be distributed by TicketMaster at (301) 808-6900 or (410) 752-1200, for a nominal service charge of $2 per ticket, with additional charges for phone orders and handling. Tickets are also available at TicketMaster outlets; for a complete list, visit the TicketMaster Web site at External. Although the supply of tickets may be exhausted, there are often empty seats at concert time. Interested patrons are encouraged to come to the Library by 6:30 p.m. on concert night to try to obtain no-show tickets at the door.


PR 00-175
ISSN 0731-3527