Aspen Music Festival And School

A Recital by the Dover String Quartet and the Escher String Quartet

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With special thanks to Harriett Gold, in memory of Richard Gold

Reserved Seating


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GREGG KALLOR: String Octet
MENDELSSOHN: Octet in E-flat major, op. 20
ENESCU: String Octet in C major, op. 7

The Santa Fe New Mexican called a recent Dover Quartet concert “string quartet Nirvana.” The Escher Quartet has been hailed by New York Classical Review for its exceptional, unified sound and intonation. In a rare opportunity, hear these two powerhouse ensembles join forces for octets from three centuries.

Last October, they premiered Gregg Kallor’s String Octet in the composer’s hometown of Cleveland to a thunderous ovation. Kallor had just gotten married to pianist Dasha Koltunyuk. He dedicated the piece to his parents, saying “I’m grateful to them for so much, for everything, really. My parents approach their fiftieth wedding anniversary as I begin my own marriage. Two individuals, one union. Two ensembles, one composition. Together. Complete.” It didn’t hurt that Kallor’s wife “has a thing for octopuses.”

Enescu’s Octet took him a year and a half to write and didn’t come easily to the nineteen-year-old composer. "I wore myself out trying to make work a piece of music divided into four segments of such length that each of them was likely at any moment to break. An engineer launching his first suspension bridge over a river could not feel more anxiety than I felt when I set out to darken my paper." The piece is full of fascinating mood swings, from tumultuous and whirling to lyrical and mysterious. The Dover and Escher’s performance of the piece was described as “ardent and aesthetically magnificent” by Cool Cleveland

Mendelssohn was only sixteen when he wrote his String Octet, which he gave to his violin teacher a birthday present. It would be considered a masterpiece by a composer of any age, a work of remarkable maturity which has been delighting and amazing audiences since its premiere. The feather-light third movement was so popular it often had to be encored, and the heart-pumping finale is sheer exuberance. Late in his short life, Mendelssohn said of the Octet, "I had a most wonderful time in the writing of it!"


Revel in the rich sound of eight strings in the superb acoustics of Harris Concert Hall.

Tickets will remain on hold for 30 minutes.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO