Borromeo String Quartet





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Published on Oct 14, 2011

Kingswood Oxford School welcomed the award-winning Borromeo String Quartet on Friday, Oct. 7 as the group performed for an all-school assembly and then worked with KO's Upper School string students as part of KO's Goodman Banks Series of visiting artists.

The quartet offers a different twist on classical music, using MacBook Pro laptops, video projection and iPads during its performances. Founded in 1989, the quartet also makes its own videos and concert recordings using popular software.

While at KO, Borromeo members worked with individual students during three periods following the assembly and spent another period working with the Upper School String Orchestra.

KO creative arts teacher Richard Chiarappa, who directs the KO String Orchestra and also serves as music director of the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra, said the visit was a valuable one for all involved.

"For our students to be able to hear the music of Beethoven played on priceless instruments, by consummate professionals who have embraced and incorporated our modern computer technology is something that should both impress and surprise them," Chiarappa said. "Then, to have these same professionals coach our students individually and in groups will give our students a moment in their life that they will, no doubt, remember years from now. Inspiration from respected professionals is a powerful force that lasts a long time."

The Borromeo String Quartet, which performs more than 100 concerts a year across the country and the globe, has won numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2007, the Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award and the Cleveland Quartet Award.

The group's performance at KO was made possible through the School's long-running visiting artist series. "The Goodman Banks Series gives our students a unique opportunity to come into direct contact with artists and first-class, professional performances," Chiarappa said. "In today's world especially, students need to come into contact with great artists and great performances in order to be able to distinguish what is really meaningful, lasting and fundamentally honest from what is shallow and only temporary."

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