Decoda cellist, Claire Bryant and violinist Owen Dalby write to you from the beautiful city of Copenhagen!
Claire here, writing to you from Cafe 22 in the lovely Nørrebro district overlooking the lakes of this beautiful city! I'm enjoying a delicious brunch as Owen is on a train to Ålborg to be a sub in the Danish String Quartet for violinist Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, as he is in Sydney, Australia receiving the Danish Crown Prince Couple's Rising Star Award! I hope you enjoy this little journal entry about the amazing time we have had in Copenhagen...
Owen and I have been here a little over a week now, collaborating with our good friends, Frederik, Rune, Asbjørn, and Fredrik of the stellar Danish String Quartet at their annual festival in their home city. Decoda met the DSQ back in 2011 at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the collaboration was a big hit both musically and personally. Last October, I was thrilled to have the DSQ and Owen at the community residency program in my hometown of Camden, South Carolina. It was an unforgettable week, and the quartet captured the hearts of the entire town, as they do everywhere!
The DSQ's Musikfest was a wonderful 3-day event at a charming, old girl's school in a historic part of Copenhagen, lined with bright orange old navy bunkers and cobblestone streets. It was truly inspiring to perform alongside these four for sold out audiences every night. After the performances we had the opportunity to mingle with people at the homemade 'Moonshine Bar' the Danes built - stocked with kegs of Øl, all in the 'moonlight' of a giant Papier Mâché moon, also constructed by the quartet-mates. These guys do it all!
In addition to the quartet, we joined two incredible musicians based in Denmark for the week - clarinetist Mathias Kjøller and pianist Marianna Shirinyan - who were both absolutely wonderful to work with and to get to know. The three programs included Mendelssohn's a minor string quartet and Ligeti's first quartet, both performed brilliantly by the DSQ, excerpts from Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps as part of an experimental night-themed program performed almost completely in the dark, Brahms clarinet trio, Brahms g major sextet and Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht. Check out this blog/review here for an account of the final evening of the festival: http://jensdrejer.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/dsq-festival-2013/. It has been such a fulfilling week of music and friendship, and we couldn't be more grateful for the invitation to collaborate with this ensemble again.
We hope to be back to Copenhagen soon, and luckily for us (and for South Carolina audiences), the DSQ is continuing on with us to do a 2-day residency at Coker College in Hartsville, SC next week. The culminating performance will take place at the Hartsville-Coker Concert Association at 7:30pm on Thursday, October 31st and will include the Haydn Sunrise string quartet, Ravel Sonata for violin and cello, and Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht.
Thank you for reading and we hope to see you somewhere soon! Stay tuned for updates from Decoda in November - from Mérida, Mexico, Lyrica Chamber Music Series in New Jersey, DROM in NYC, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art on November, 23!