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PREVIEW: Mohawk Trail Concerts presents Telegraph Quartet July 6 at Charlemont Federated Church

Although the group loves to play the classics, they champion 20th- and 21st-century repertoire and have commissioned or co-commissioned several important works.

Charlemont, Mass. — In a presentation of Mohawk Trail Concerts, the Telegraph Quartet will appear at Charlemont Federated Church on July 6 to perform works by Beethoven, Dvořák, and Kenji Bunch. The group’s members are violinists Eric Chin and Joseph Maile; violist Pei-Ling Lin; and cellist Jeremiah Shaw.

The program on July 6 is as follows:

  • Beethoven — String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6
  • Kenji — Bunch: String Quartet No. 2
  • Dvořák — String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat Major, Op. 105

The Beethoven and Dvořák will be familiar to most everyone, the former coming from the end of Beethoven’s first maturity and the latter exemplifying Dvořák’s mature compositional style. But the piece by Bunch may be less familiar.

Composer and violist Kenji Bunch has had over 60 of his works performed by American orchestras. He has composed the scores for such films as “The Bellman Equation” and “The Argentum Prophecies,” with a discography that includes a number of major labels, including Sony/BMG and EMI Classics. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote that Bunch’s music “combines a modernist vocabulary with flourishes of the romantic” and that it bears little trace of the avant-garde.

Although the Telegraph Quartet loves to play the classics of the standard chamber music repertory, the group champions 20th- and 21st-century repertoire and has commissioned or co-commissioned several important works. For example, the quartet co-commissioned John Harbison’s String Quartet No. 6 and gave its West Coast premiere in the fall of 2017. Other commissions include a piece by Robert Sirota, and the group gave the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s octet, “Ever Yours,” with the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

The quartet has appeared at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Interlochen Arts Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Emilia Romagna Festival. Awards include the 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Notable collaborators include pianists Leon Fleisher and Simone Dinnerstein; cellists Norman Fischer and Bonnie Hampton; violinist Ian Swensen; the St. Lawrence Quartet; and the Henschel Quartett. The New York Times wrote of the group’s “elegance and pinpoint control.”

The quartet’s 2023–2024 season includes performances presented by Stanford Live, Chamber Music Monterey Bay, Friends of Chamber Music Portland, Pro Musica San Miguel De Allende in Mexico, the Lane Series at University of Vermont, Hamilton College’s Performing Arts Series, Feldman Chamber Music Society, and the Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg. They will perform residency concerts at the University of Michigan and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

The group is currently on the chamber music faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as the Quartet-in-Residence.

Hear the Telegraph Quartet at Charlemont Federated Church, 175 Main St. (Rt. 2, AKA the Mohawk Trail), Charlemont, MA 01339, on July 6, at 5 p.m. Suggested donation: $25. More information is available here.


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