Carpe Diem group performs Jan. 26

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerJanuary 25, 2013 

Carpe Diem comes from a Latin poem that simply means, "seize the day."

But in the case of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, you might want to seize the moment and catch these musicians in concert at the next Camerata Musica event at 8 p.m. Jan. 26 in the Battelle Auditorium in Richland.

"(Carpe Diem) is a young, energetic group who have a definite sizzle factor," said Nancy Welliver, with the Camerata group. "They will play three pieces. Two are lovely classical pieces from standard classical string quartet repertoire by Wolf and Schubert.

"The third was written by their viola player, (and) is a down-home, hoedown-style, rollicking fiddle tune called the Fiddle Suite Montana."

Carpe Diem is made up of Charles Wetherbee and John Ewing on violins, Korine Fujiwara on viola, and Carol Ou on cello. Joining the quartet for the Tri-City concert will be Cameron Bennett on piano and Stephen Schermer on double bass.

"Even if you have not previously been to a Camerata concert because classical music doesn't do anything for you, you may just fall in love with this kind of music," Welliver said.

The first half of the program includes Italian Serenade by Hugo Wolf, and the lengthy 5-piece composition Fiddle Suite Montana, written by Fujiwara. The second half of the concert features several selections of Franz Schubert compositions, including Quintet in A Major for piano and strings.

The quartet is considered a boundary-breaking ensemble with their blend of gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock and jazz-inspired music that complements their traditional chamber tunes. They have performed in concert halls across the country.

Wetherbee, the founding member of Carpe Diem, made his professional debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and has since perform with the National Symphony as well as the Japan Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Minnesota Symphonia, the Orqusta Nacional de Mexico and several other international orchestras.

Ewing is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music, where he earned his music degree. He was the associate concertmaster of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in Indiana, as well as the Savannah Symphony Orchestra.

Fujiwara, from Montana, is also a co-founder of the group, and has played with the Snake River Chamber Players, Olympic Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, 20th Century Music Festival at Lincoln Center, and the Summergarden Festival at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Ou has performed with Midori, Hillary Hahn, Timothy Eddy, Andras Schiff and Pascal Roge at the Marlboro Music Festival, Summerfest La Jolla and Australian Festival of Chamber Music.

Camerata Musica provides an annual series of chamber music concerts at no cost for Tri-City music lovers. The free concerts are made possible by generous donations from private patrons. Those who donate also get preferential seating for all concerts.

Refreshments are served in the lobby during intermission.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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