Hey baby

If you’re on Westminster Street in April, feel free to drop in and take part in our new office contest. Whoever can correctly identify the most CMW staff (and staff relations) from their baby pics posted on the office wall wins a prize. Careful, there are decoys!


PSQ with Child

With Peter Child, that is.

On Sunday afternoon, the Providence Quartet and Chloe Kline joined oboist Peggy Pearson on her Winsor Music series in Brookline, MA for a program of Haydn, Beethoven, and brand new works by Boston-based composer Peter Child.


"It was a delight and a very pleasant surprise to find such a high level of musicianship among our neighbors in Providence. In addition to their technical polish and musical understanding, both of which they have at the highest level, the Providence Quartet players are charming people and wonderful to work with. A lovely experience all round." -Peter Child

"Last Sunday’s concert was a sheer joy for all of us. What a way to welcome in the spring season! I was totally captivated by the youthful exhuberance and the mature mastery of the ensemble. The playing was elegant and inspired, and I left feeling full of life, energy, and optomism! Spring, indeed! What more could one ask from a concert? Thank you for bringing such beauty into my life." -anonymous audience member


Incredible parking

Its been a busy month of performing for the Providence Quartet. Sometimes members of the PSQ are running late to rehearsal and don’t have time to give parking the car the proper attention that it might deserve…


Kirby reports on Matt

Matt Haimovitz’s concert [on March 9] was awesome. It was so great to
hear such a talented musician play. Being a cello player, when I hear a cellist
play I just want to run home and start jamming on my cello. He’s really great
and the song that he played of the Star-Spangled Banner was amazing. It was
great to hang out with all of my friends from Phase II while listening to great


I also met this wonderful lady named Nancy and I got to take a picture
with Matt Haimovitz.


By the end of the day we were all tired and listening to
music on our Ipods. If you missed the show hopefully next time you’re able to
come because it was amazing.


-Kirby (Fidelia) Vasquez, Phase II

Kanack Attack

This past February I went to Rochester, NY to
visit my former violin teacher, Alice Kanack. She heads her own music school
there, the Kanack School of Music, which is now about ten years strong. The
reason for my visit was not only to see her and catch up on about twelve years
of time gone by, but also to observe some of her Creative Ability Development
(CAD) classes.

CAD is a method she started when I was just a
wee lass in her studio in the mid-late eighties, focusing on the development of
creativity in young musicians (young meaning beginning at around four years
old). She taught this through a series of group improvisation games and
activities that we would repeat weekly along side our regular individual

The idea behind the method of CAD is that a
child will develop their sense and understanding of the musical language more
quickly and deeply when they are given a chance to explore music through the
regular practice of improvisation. In Rochester, I had the honor of sitting
with her while she explained all of the exercises she used to do with me when I
was a kid, and what was the purpose of each.

It was extremely fulfilling to revisit this part
of my musical upbringing. I began to understand and appreciate what she had
given me as an 8-12 year old even more now as an adult musician and educator.
She gave me a love for music and a tool for discovering my own voice.

I’ve started using some of the CAD techniques
with the CMW Music Lab students and so far, they’re catching on well with all
of the exercises and there are some really beautiful things happening in class
every week. We’ll try to bring Alice here next season to do a CAD weekend where
all the students in CMW can benefit from a little musical freedom.

-Jessie Montgomery, PSQ

Retreat on the Lake

February brought
the first of two practice retreat weeks for the PSQ. I took my practice
retreat in my hometown, Ithaca, where I holed up in a cabin on Cayuga Lake to
work on the Brahms Eb Viola Sonata. And I logged 18 wonderful hours with
my teacher Rolfe Sokol, finding inspiration in Milstein and Zuckerman
videos and lots of Brahms.

Ithaca1We started practice
retreats as a perk for CMW musicians several years ago, when we realized that
mid-winter was a time we needed recharging. When normal days as
a community organizer / quartet musician / teacher
/ non-profit administrator are so busy, a welcome feature of the
practice retreat is an empty schedule. Long days of practice, exercise,
lessons, watching the lake.

Ithaca2 At the end of my week, I performed the Brahms with pianist Hisako Hiratsuka at
Providence’s illustrious Music Mansion. The week has left me with a new
approach to making sound, and I’ve been exploring this in quartet
rehearsals. Also, fresh from this retreat, I brought a video of Nathan
to my teaching last week and played it for students. The
inspiration is passed along…

Ruth, PSQ