ARC Ensemble ends Live at TRU! series on a high note

Alexis Stockford, Contributor Ω


Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble showed off their musical mastery at the last Live at TRU! event of the year on March 20. Alexis Stockford/The Omega

The Live at TRU! series went out with a bang last Thursday with Grammy-nominated classical group ARC Ensemble. Roughly 40 people showed up at the Clocktower Alumni Theatre to hear the quintet, which included clarinettist Joaquin Valdepeñas, guitarist Simon Wynberg, Se-Doo Park on cello, Steven Dann on viola and Benjamin Bowman on violin.

The group played three pieces during their hour-long concert. Their first piece introduced the audience to composer Bernhard Henrik Crusell, who viola player Steven Dann later described as the “Finnish Mozart”. Other works included Paganini Quartet No. 15 and an original piece written by ARC Ensemble member Benjamin Bowman.

“I thought this performance was absolutely fantastic,” concert goer Sherin Jensen said after the show. “The musicians are just awe inspiring, truly. And the interaction with the music – truly enjoyed it.”

ARC Ensemble is best known for its Music in Exile project, which unearths music lost to society due to religious or political persecution. Their latest CD, released in 2013, highlights the work of Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim, who fled the Nazis in the 1930s.

“We have a sort of marginal mandate to produce music which is by composers who where somehow suppressed in their lifetimes,” Dann said. “We’re digging constantly for music that hasn’t been played and deserves to be. On a very simple level, it brings to society music which is extraordinary and which they’ve never heard before. It also highlights or spotlights the idea of repression and what has gone on in the past.”

Although this was the last of six Live at TRU! events organized this year, the series will return in the fall with plans to boost attendance both on and off campus.

“I’d like to see some more audience, especially for an event of this calibre – so we’re going to work on that,” Live at TRU! committee chair Susie Stafford said. “We need to get out in the community a bit more and maybe talk to TRUSU a bit more about ways that we can work together.”

Next year’s Live at TRU! schedule will not be available until September 2014, so fans of the series will have to be patient. Anyone wanting more information on the series or any of the artists that have performed this season should visit TRU’s website.