Centre News

Boston Brass and Enso String Quartet make Shakespeare musical in “Notes from the Balcony”

March 28, 2013 By Elizabeth Trollinger       
Boston Brass The Boston Brass (above) and the Enso String Quartet will
perform “Notes from the Balcony: The Music of ‘Romeo and
Juliet’” at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5 at the Norton Center for the Arts.

Enso String Quartet The Enso String Quartet (above) will also lead a discussion
about Kickstarter.com, a crowdsourcing website that they
successfully used to fund their most recent album.

The Boston Brass and the Enso String Quartet will come together to perform “Notes from the Balcony: The Music of ‘Romeo and Juliet’” at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5 in Newlin Hall in the Norton Center for the Arts. The performance will count as a convocation credit for students.

Everything about the performance is inspired by the classic Shakespearean play.

“The program looks at Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ through music,” says Steve Hoffman, executive director of the Norton Center for the Arts. “The evening features classical symphonic music—Prokofiev, plus others; Broadway music—Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’; and pop/chamber music, featuring music from Elvis Costello’s ‘Juliet Letters,’ recorded with the Brodsky String Quartet.

The event will give the audience a unique musical experience.

“The concert blends all of these styles of music based on literature,” Hoffman says. “It’s not a classical concert. It’s not a pop concert. It’s not a Shakespearean play. This is a unique performance experience—it’s not often that a string quartet and a brass ensemble pair up for a concert. And add a pianist and percussionist!”

While in Danville for the concert, the Boston Brass and Enso String Quartet will also offer a series of free events. The two music groups will give a lecture and demonstration on “Transferring Classical Literature into Music” at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 4 in Newlin Hall. The artists will discuss the inspiration behind their concert and will also play selected works from the performance. The Boston Brass will have a discussion and give a mini performance at 3 p.m. on April 4 at McDowell Place. The event, sponsored in partnership with the Boyle County Public Library, is a senior-based activity.

The Enso String Quartet will lead a discussion on “DIY Venture Capitalism: A Conversation about Kickstarter.com” at 4:30 p.m. on April 4 in the Evans Lively Room in Old Carnegie. During the event, co-presented by Centre’s Economics Society, members of the quartet will share their experience with the website that helps various groups raise money to fund projects.

“Those who attend the event will be introduced to kickstarter.com as an entrepreneurial avenue, and the practical—as well as successful—venture the Enso String Quartet brought to reality via this online resource to fund their most recent music recording,” says Olivia Orrender ’13, co-president of the Economics Society. “Their campaign included developing a project budget, creating a video pitch, soliciting investors, identifying investment benefits and delivering what was promised. This ‘micro’ venture capitalism presentation will have a real-world application to it coming directly from Maureen, John, Melissa and Richard’s experience.”

Kickstarter has garnered attention recently for several notable projects, including the funding of the film “Inocente,” which won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). A wide variety of groups—including the quartet—have found it highly beneficial.

“The website seems quite accessible and should be of interest to a large audience,” Orrender says. “I see this conversation on crowd-funding as worthwhile and cutting edge.”

To purchase tickets to “Notes from the Balcony,” or for more information about the Boston Brass and the Enso String Quartet, visit NortonCenter.com.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

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