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Danish String Quartet performs Feb. 14
Danish-Quartet-by-Caroline-Bittencourt WEB
The Danish Quartet - photo by Caroline Bittencourt

The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County will present the last concert of the 2015-16 Chamber Music Series on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. in the Wood Auditorium. This special Valentine’s Day concert will feature the world-renowned Danish String Quartet along with members of Decoda, including Claire Bryant (cello),  Meehna Bhasin (violin), Owen Dalby (violin), Kris Saebo (bass), Brad Balliett (bassoon), along with Sarah Elizabeth Charles, jazz vocalist. The concert is sponsored by The Frederick S. Upton Foundation, BlueCross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Tom and Virginia Ann Mullikin and Kennedy Insurance Agency. Tickets for the concert are $30 adults advance, $35 adults day of and $15 for students.

This special program will feature Seasons of Life with Decoda, Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall and the world renowned Danish String Quartet. Audiences are invited to take a musical journey through a new experimental suite called Three Winter Perspectives. Inspired by baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi’s paramount work La Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons), this piece will depart and evolve from Vivaldi’s original Winter to two of Decoda’s in-house composers, Kris Saebo, and Brad Balliett, and their musical take on the meaning of the season.

Following the Vivaldi-inspired suite, Decoda will be joined by acclaimed vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles. Featuring newly minted original songs from Decoda’s weeklong songwriting workshop at Lee Correctional Institution, audiences will experience the Seasons of Life from selections from the inmates.

Finally, Decoda and Claire Bryant will present the Danish String Quartet in a performance of the late great string quartet by Beethoven, Opus 131.

The Danish String Quartet, in demand worldwide by concert and festival presenters alike has accomplished much since it was formed ten years ago. In January 2012, the Quartet was appointed to the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two program beginning with the 2013-2014 season. In 2009, the Quartet not only won First Prize in the Eleventh London International String Quartet Competition, but it also received four additional prizes: The 20th Century Prize, the Beethoven Prize, the Sidney Griller Award and the Menton Festival Prize. The Quartet has also won competitions in Denmark, Norway and Holland.

 In 2006, the Danish String Quartet was the Danish Radio ‘Artist in Residence.’ The residency gave the Quartet opportunity to record all of Carl Nielsen’s String Quartets in the Danish Radio Concert Hall. The recordings were released on the Dacapo label in 2007 and 2008 and they were hailed by the critics as extremely successful recordings.

The high technical and musical quality, the joy of playing, the powerful impact the Quartet makes on stage and the fresh approach to familiar repertoire has become a trademark for the Danish String Quartet. These qualities have led the quartet to success everywhere. To read more about the Danish String Quartet visit www.danishquartet.com

New York City-based cellist Claire Bryant enjoys an active and diverse career as a leading performer of chamber music, contemporary music, and the solo cello repertoire in premiere venues such as Carnegie Hall, Southbank Centre, Suntory Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Barbican Centre. Claire has collaborated closely with artists such as Daniel Hope, Anthony Marwood, Emanuel Ax, Sir Simon Rattle, Dawn Upshaw, Ron Carter, and the Weilerstein Trio, Saint Lawrence String Quartet, and the Danish String Quartet.

A native of South Carolina, Claire is equally engaged as an educator and advocate for inclusive arts in our society. She is the director of Decoda’s criminal justice initiative, Music for Transformation, which brings collaborative songwriting workshops into correctional facilities in South Carolina and New York.

Decoda is a NYC-based chamber music collective with a unique vision: to bring together virtuoso musicians in performances that expand beyond the borders of the traditional concert hall. Since its inception in 2011, Decoda's concerts and programs have touched audiences in schools, hospitals, and prisons, as well as in renowned concert halls across the globe. Recognized equally for their artistry and arts advocacy, Decoda was recently named the first ever Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. Some of Decoda’s unique initiatives include extensive songwriting projects with inmates at Sing Sing and Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina.  To read more about Decoda visit www.decodamusic.org.

Sarah Elizabeth Charles is a rising vocalist and composer based in New York City. She has worked and studied with artists such as George Cables, Geri Allen, Nicholas Payton, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Owens and Carmen Lundy and released her debut record, “Red in September of 2012” with her band the S.E. Charles Quartet. As the active vocalist in a number of bands, including  AJOYO, Manner Effect, Transient Beings and Enoch Smith Jr.’s Misfits, Sarah has performed at many venues throughout her career. These venues have included The White House, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Gillette Stadium, the Bern International Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, the Burlington Jazz Festival, the Apollo Music Café, Blue Note NYC, Le Poisson Rouge, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and the Rose Theatre with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

For more information or tickets call 425-7676, ext 300 or visit the FAC website at www.fineartscenter.org. The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County is located at 810 Lyttleton Street in Camden. Box office hours are Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Fine Arts Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is funded in part by the Frederick S. Upton Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the City of Camden, Kershaw County, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina along with donations from businesses and individuals.