Ad Hoc String Quartet

The Ad Hoc String Quartet has been around for only six years, but it’s already earned admiration as an energetic supporter of local composers. At this recital–the latest in an irregular series, hence the foursome’s name–the Ad Hoc takes up the causes of Robert Kritz and Kimo Williams, whose String Quintet and Quiet Shadows, respectively, are prominent in the Ad Hoc’s expanding 20th-century repertoire. The Kritz was written in 1946, when the composer was a student at Chicago Musical College, but languished on the shelf until two years ago. Then, at age 69, Kritz, who’d put aside music to make a living in the graphic-design business, decided to give it another look. He took the score to a Northwestern professor and was encouraged to polish it. When the slightly revised quintet was performed earlier this year, along with “Three Songs of Young Love” (from his Nine Songs for Soprano and Strings, of the same vintage as the quintet), critics praised its craftsmanship and the clear personality of each of its movements, which are derived from melodies he wrote for his cantor father to chant to a Hebrew prayer. Largely tonal and heavily textured, the piece is said to sound like a Janacek quartet. Kritz’s songs, written to poems by his sister, also impressed with their romantic languor. The Ad Hoc will be joined by guest violist Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff in the quintet and soprano Antoinette Arnold in “Three Songs of Young Love.” In performing Quiet Shadows, by Columbia College composer-in-residence Williams–a somber reflection on the Vietnam war–the Ad Hoc members (violinists Roberta Freier and David Belden, violist Peter Neubert, and cellist Richard Yeo) will play with their backs to one another to accentuate the music’s sense of isolation and private anguish. Also on the bill are songs by Villa-Lobos and Gershwin’s Lullaby for Strings. Sunday, 7:30 PM, Weinstein Center for the Performing Arts, National-Louis University, 2840 Sheridan, Evanston; 847-256-5150.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Ad Hoc String Quartet photo.