Cavani String Quartet concert features innovative Mercyhurst collaborators

Known for both its passion and technical prowess, the Cavani String Quartet will appear in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Having been described as “passionate and interesting… an accomplished example of craftsmanship and wonderfully communicative” by The Strad, a monthly music publication, the Cavani String Quartet is sure to deliver a great show.

Formed in 1984, the quartet was appointed Quartet-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1988, and in 2005, they became the first recipient of the Guarneri String Quartet Residency Award from Chamber Music America.

They have a strong commitment to teaching music as well, and have received national acclaim for their inspiring and innovative teaching and proactive approach to residencies.

One portion of Mercyhurst’s Cavani concert will include a 20-minute collaborative piece in three movements that features the work of artists from the Mercyhurst music, dance and art departments.
Ethan Magoc photo: Daniel Burke, Albert Glinsky and Mark Santillano all contributed their talents to the Cavani performance.Ethan Magoc photo: Daniel Burke, Albert Glinsky and Mark Santillano all contributed their talents to the Cavani performance.
The collaboration consists of “Canandaigua Quartet,” a score Albert Glinsky, Ph.D., composed that Cavani will play, along with art elements courtesy of Daniel Burke, art department chair, and a choreography from music professors Mark and Solveig Santillano.

The collaboration first began when PAC director Michael Fuhrman organized the different departments to present a piece together at the Cavani concert. Glinsky had already composed the music, and both pre-existing and fresh art works of Burke’s were incorporated into and alongside new choreography to create a cohesive whole.

SoMar Dance Works, a company in residence, is directed by professors Mark and Solveig Santillano and includes six dance department students who perform for the company.

Santillano said of the choreographic process, “All the dancers collaborated on the choreography. Solveig and I directed the process, but their ideas all influenced the work, and everyone contributed, which was a very welcome thing.”

“I am really excited to be part of the Cavani String Quartet performance,” said senior SoMar company member Sarah Hricko. “It’s not every day that you get to combine three different art forms together into one.”

The art pieces Burke created are integrated into the presentation in a variety of ways. The dancers carry some pieces on, hang them and allow them to fly into place. In other sections, the dancers move with PVC pipes attached to birds, a motif of Burke’s art.

The piece will also include projections of the art, with videos that Santillano shot and edited.

In addition to the use of the physical art as props of sorts, the choreography also features subtle bird-like imagery and movement. The idea of birds perching, suggested by Burke, led to the use of double barres employed by the dancers for unusual balancing and partnering.

When asked about the upcoming performance, senior SoMar company member Nicole Lyons said, “I like the piece a lot because it’s very innovative and uses a lot of different elements that normally wouldn’t be used in a dance piece.” The Cavani String Quartet will perform on Friday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the The Cavani String Quartet will perform on Friday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC.
Tickets for the Cavani String Quartet concert are $7.50 for Mercyhurst students with ID and $15 for adults, seniors, non-Mercyhurst students and president’s cardholders. Tickets can be purchased by calling 824-3000 or by visiting the PAC box office.