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Litton String Quartet Premieres September 12

Litton QuartetThe Litton String Quartet, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s new quartet-in-residence through the Department of Music, will present its premiere concert on Sunday, September 12, 2010, at 3:00 p.m. The concert, the first offering in this season’s Sound Choices series, will be performed in Gorell Recital Hall, located on the second floor of IUP’s John Sutton Hall.

The quartet consists of IUP faculty members Stanley Chepaitis, violin, and Linda Jennings, cello. They are joined by Swana Chepaitis, violin, and Donna Lorenza, viola. The quartet is named in honor of Robin Litton, an IUP alumnus who created an endowment to help fund the quartet.

For this premiere concert, they will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Quartet in C Major (K.465).” The last of a set of six quartets by Mozart, completed in 1785, it was dedicated to Franz Joseph Hadyn. Often referred to as the “Dissonance” Quartet, the work begins with a high level of dissonant tension not often found in works of this era.

Next, the ensemble will perform an original work by Stanley Chepaitis titled “Dances in Time” String Quartet. This work is a series of four dance pieces drawing on Jazz, Latin, Native American, and African musical traditions.

Also planned is the “American” String Quartet in F Major (opus 96) by Antonin Dvorak, written in 1892. Dvorak came to America to teach in New York. While in America, he found close connections between American folk music and that of his Czech homeland, and wrote this piece while vacationing in Spillville, Iowa.

Stanley Chepaitis received his D.M.A. from the Eastman School of Music and serves as chair of the strings program at IUP. Recent appearances include the University of Oregon, School for Strings in Buffalo, N.Y., Eastman’s Killbourne Hall, and the music academies in both Zagreb, Croatia, and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Swana Chepaitis received her diploma in violin pedagogy from the Hochschule fuer Kuenste in Bremen, Germany, and is a former member of L’Arco, a baroque orchestra based in Hannover, Germany.

Lorenza holds degrees in music performance from the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music. She has been principal violist with Solisti chamber orchestra of Venice, Italy, and is currently teaching at Houghton College.

Jennings, an assistant professor of music at IUP, holds an M.M. degree from USC and a D.M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She was the director of the internationally-acclaimed UT-Austin String Project and has been principal cellist of the Fairbanks Orchestra in Alaska and the Chamber Orchestra of the Alleghenies.

Tickets for the performance are available in advance at the Hadley Union Building or online now. Tickets remaining will be sold at the door start at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, September 12. Tickets are $9 regular admission, $8 for senior citizens, and $6 for students and children.

For more information about this concert, the Sound Choices series, and other events scheduled by the IUP College of Fine Arts, contactThe Lively Arts by calling 724-357-2547 or e-mailing lively-arts@iup.edu.

Pictured above: Sitting, Stanley Chepaitis; Standing, left to right, Donna Lorenza, Linda Jennings, and Swana Chepaitis

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