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The JACK Quartet brings its flair for new music to CSU

If you don’t know JACK – as in the JACK Quartet – then here’s a golden opportunity to find out what you’ve been missing.

This critically acclaimed string quartet headlines a free concert at 8 p.m. Monday, September 16, in Cleveland State University’s Drinko Recital Hall, as part of CSU’s Cleveland Contemporary Players artist-in-residency series.

“Over the past few years, they’ve earned a great reputation on the international new-music scene,” said CSU Professor Andrew Rindfleisch, director of the Cleveland Contemporary Players series and coordinator of the Music Composition Program at CSU.

The JACK Quartet takes its name from the first letter of each member’s first name: John Pickford Richards (viola), Ari Streisfeld (violin), Christopher Otto (violin) and Kevin McFarland (cello). New works are their specialty.

The ensemble and Dr. Rindfleisch first crossed paths a few years ago, when they performed his String Quartet No. 1 at a North Carolina music festival.

At CSU, the JACK Quartet is set to present the world premiere of another composition by Dr. Rindfleisch: String Quartet No. 2.

“It’s a piece that explores unusual colors for a string quartet,” Dr. Rindfleisch said. “It takes advantage of retuning and muting to change the instruments quite a bit.”

Also on the program are pieces by Rodericus, Wolfgang von Schweinitz and John Zorn.

Prior to the concert, CSU music students will have their original works performed by the JACK Quartet during a special workshop.

Photo by Justin Bernhaut