Sunday Classics presents Opal String Quartet

Since it’s Sunday and you’re probably thinking Sunday-ish thoughts, here’s one to mark on your calendar for next week: Opal String Quartet performs as part of the White Horse‘s Sunday Classics series.

Some info about the concert program: “White Horse Black Mountain, the spectacular music and arts venue in historic Black Mountain, will host its third exciting SUNDAY CLASSICS program called ‘Only Opal’ on Sunday, June 27 at 2 p.m. featuring the Opal String Quartet, a young and exciting professional foursome based in Asheville with members who all attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music.  Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for students/children.  Come hear the highest quality music in a relaxed and informal atmosphere with drinks available.  The program will include music by Beethoven, Bartok, and more.  Tickets are available online here or at the White Horse Box Office Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings after 6 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door or by calling 669-0816. More information about this concert and the Sunday Classics series can be found here.

The Opal String quartet is not only an excellent choice for classical music fans, the local group is likely to convert some new fans to the genre. Two members (Franklin Keel and Amy Lovinger) also moonlight with “absurdist gypsy folk punk funk” collective Sirius.B.

From the press release, here is the quartet’s bio: “The Opal String Quartet was formed in 2006 and is based in Asheville, North Carolina. Known for its fiery intensity and polished precision, the OSQ is dedicated to bringing the art of chamber music to diverse audiences by performing in a wide variety of venues, from schools and art galleries to street corners and concert halls. The OSQ has been featured on WCQS, and has performed at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, Appalachian State University, Montreat College, Asheville Art Museum, Flood Gallery, and BoBo Gallery among other venues. The OSQ also serves as artists-in-residence for the educational outreach programs of the Asheville Chamber Music Society and the Asheville Symphony Guild, performing and teaching at numerous schools all over Buncombe County each year. 

“FRANCES HSIEH, VIOLIN is a graduate of Duke University (BA, Music and Biology) and Eastman School of Music (MM), has studied with Dorothy Kitchen, Eric Pritchard, and Charlie Castleman. Frances toured Austria and Italy as a member of the Eastman Quartet, performed with the Rochester Philharmonic through the Eastman Orchestral Studies Program, and has attended summer festivals at Tanglewood, Aspen, Eastern Music Festival, Quartet Program, and Musicorda. Frances is a member of the Charleston Symphony, has won positions and performed with numerous other orchestras including the North Carolina Symphony, and most recently won the position of Assistant Concertmaster with the Asheville Symphony.

“AMY LOVINGER, VIOLIN: Amy hold’s a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree from Kent State University. While a member of the Hyperion Quartet, Amy won the Russell Award at the 2002 Coleman National Chamber Music Competition. In 2004 and 2005 she was a member of the Orquestra Classica da Madeira, Portugal, and has collaborated with the Degas Quartet. Currently she is the Principal Second Violinist of the Asheville Symphony, Associate Concertmaster of the Hendersonville Symphony, and performs with the Asheville Lyric Opera and Sirius.B.

“KARA POORBAUGH, VIOLA: Kara serves as the Principal Violist of the Asheville Symphony and is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM-viola performance and music education), where she studied with John Graham and the Ying Quartet. Kara also performs regularly with the Greenville, Spartanburg, and Hendersonville Symphonies, and serves as a faculty member at the Joyful Noise Community Music and Arts Center where she teaches violin, viola, cello, and directs the chamber music program. Kara has been featured as a soloist with the Blue Ridge Orchestra, Raleigh Symphony, Triangle Youth Philharmonic, and Duke University String School Orchestra and has attended summer festivals at Interlochen, Musicorda, and Brevard Music Center.

“FRANKLIN KEEL, CELLO: Franklin is Associate Principal Cellist of the Asheville Symphony and holds a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music at Appalachian State University in performance and music education. Franklin has appeared as a soloist with the Hendersonville Symphony, St. Matthias Chamber Orchestra, and Symphony of the United Nations, and attended Brevard Music Center for five summers. Franklin, an avid music educator, serves as Assistant Conductor for the Hendersonville Youth Orchestra and maintains a large private studio. He also performs outside the classical genre with numerous bands & artists including Sirius.B.”

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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One thought on “Sunday Classics presents Opal String Quartet

  1. The Opal String Quartet are fantastic, particularly for someone with more than a few prejudices towards the often stilted presentation that chamber music tends to have. They’ve got a great energy when they play, and you can tell they’re in love with what they do.

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