(Kevin Kumar | Photo courtesy of High Desert Chamber Music)
On January 14 the Crown City String Quartet (CCSQ) will make their much-awaited return to Bend, presenting a concert for High Desert Chamber Music’s 15th season at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Skyline Ranch Road at 7:30pm.
We spoke recently with CCSQ violinist Kevin Kumar to learn more about one of Bend’s favorite music groups and the program they’ll be presenting.
Kevin has had experience as a soloist, concertmaster and chamber musician. He’s played on lots of movie and TV soundtracks, including recent Star Wars films and series. He’s had a chance to be heard on very popular shows like “Bridgerton” while maintaining an active classical music presence. He’s the Co-Artistic Director of Salastina (in Los Angeles) and ChamberFest Canandaigua (in the Finger Lakes region in NY), so he gets to do a lot of programming and community building in the arts.
While Kevin isn’t a founding member of CCSQ, he met the quartet’s violinist and High Desert Chamber Music Executive Director Isabelle Senger decades ago when they were 12 years old, performing in a youth orchestra in Los Angeles. Kevin describes the quartet as including people he simply adores. He notes, there is “no typical quartet drama with us! We just get together and have a good time, especially in Bend!”
For January’s program, CCSQ will start with Danzas de Panama by William Grant Still. These are a collection of lilting arrangements of Panamanian folk songs, sure to charm and put you at ease. A stunningly beautiful slow movement from a Florence Price string quartet follows, then they conclude the first half with Jesse Montgomery’s Strum. Montgomery creates a unique sound world, with interesting plucked textures and lovely dance and folk music qualities. The concert’s second half is Mendelssohn’s String Quartet — a big, warm and energetic piece of music. Like a lot of Mendelssohn’s work, it balances beautiful and lyrical musical ideas with flawless construction.
You can hear Kevin performing in concert with the Crown City String Quartet, at the next event in High Desert Chamber Music’s landmark 15th anniversary season. Please plan to join us on Saturday, January 14, at 7:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. This concert is brought to you by the Pine Tavern Restaurant. Tickets are available through High Desert Chamber Music by phone or online. Come hear the music!