DaPonte String Quartet 2019-2020 Season

  • October 28, 2019

Press Release

Contact: Lisa Westkaemper (940) 595-1917        Lisa@daponte.org

DaPonte String Quartet 

2019/2020 Season announcement 


What’s up next for the DaPonte String Quartet?

     If you’ve never worked closely with a music group, you might not be able to imagine all of the discussions, decisions and considerations that have to be pondered when thinking about a series of concerts. Recently, I have had the great pleasure of working with the DSQ as they choose the music they will play for the next few months.

They discussed guest artists, they discussed composers, they discussed eras and periods, they discussed audience reactions and expectations, marketing implications, and time of year.  They discussed emotional journeys and the composers’ intentions. They had fun playing with words to accompany the music in the form of program notes and series titles, they had fun exploring which new works to undertake, and they had fun remembering a favorite piece that will take the spotlight again.

     The entire process is filled with joy and eager anticipation. It continues to amaze me as I watch this quartet work together, what an incredible group they are. They have been together for many years, and they have been through many things together. They work as a cohesive whole, moving in tandem and thinking as a group. This is never four separate entities fighting for a specific point of view or a dominant voice. All these decisions, everything that had to be considered, eventually came together with one clear direction. And that direction presents you with a wonder-filled lineup to enjoy from now through spring of 2020.

     First up is our November series, “All A-Twitter”, which features Beethoven’s Op.132.  Many of you may remember this piece from our recent CD, Pathways to Healing. This piece has been called a haunting treasure, and it is one of the string quartets composed by Beethoven late in his life.  He had been deaf for many years and some people speculate that the music of his inner ideas was even stronger during this late period.  Also up on the November program are Haydn’s masterpiece - Op. 33, (nicknamed “The Bird”), which features bird-like tone painting and gypsy influences.  Sculthorpe’s String Quartet No. 8 with its thrilling Asian influences will close out these concerts.   The comfortable balance in this program that the DaPonte String Quartet chose is sure to peak your interest and perhaps introduce you to a piece that you have not yet heard the DSQ perform.

     March brings our tribute to Maine’s Bicentennial.  “Maine’s 200th: Music of Early Maine” includes pieces collected into a program which is designed to give us a taste of the influences that are our early heritage.  We are joined by guest artist Eric LaPerna, percussion, for what is shaping up to be an amazing concert. 

    When we learned about the notated songs of Membertou (c. early 1500s-1611), a major shaman-chief of the Mi’kmaq nation, the idea for this program began to percolate. What diversity of music might there have been as so many different peoples explored, fished, and colonized Maine’s rocky coast and European influences began to permeate the land?  Fragments of elegant china, unearthed at archaeological sites such as Fort Pemaquid, illustrate how some European newcomers insisted upon bringing a few familiar comforts of home. Music would most certainly have been such a comfort. But we have only a scant trace of documented music from northeastern North America in this early period, making the written record of Membertou’s songs, and one young colonial bachelor’s dance book found in Topsham, so valuable.

     We know that music played a vital role in indigenous communities, that European sailors sang chanteys to accompany their work, and that all communities blessed their watercraft with traditional music. Noblemen and naval captains would likely have heard the latest music played in the grand houses of Europe. French Jesuit missionaries brought their musical liturgy and passed it on to new generations of Catholics. Publications of the latest English dance tunes sold like hotcakes when they arrived in Boston in the 18th century. But aside from such generalities, we can only speculate about what music might have been in the air, crossing the seas, “earworms” perhaps, of the people who lived in what we now call Maine so many generations ago. This program highlights significant events along Maine’s pre-statehood timeline (from the 16th to the early 19th centuries), with selected music to share some of the cultural influences. We hope you will enjoy hearing the enormous musical evolution wrought by such diversity and social change.

     Spring 2020 brings us to “Heartbreak Hotel” and songs of love stories with a broken twist.  For this intriguing concert series, we will be joined by guest artist Emily Birsan, soprano.  A selection of Renanissance songs will be followed by Bartok’s String Quartet No. 1, finishing with Schoenberg’s Op. 10.  Bartok’s first String Quartet is suffused with the yearning and passion of unrequited love.  Schoenberg’s Quartet has the soprano plunge from her highest register to her lowest, amidst the words “kill this longing, close the wound! Take this love from me, give me thy peace”.  Indeed your heart will check in but will not check out with this concert!

Join us in November, March and May for what is sure to be an amazing set of concerts by the DaPonte String Quartet!


November - “All A-Twitter”

     Brunswick UU Church Sunday, Nov 3rd @ 2pm

     Newcastle - St. Patrick’s Church - Sunday, Nov 10th @ 3pm

     Portland  - Maine Jewish Museum  - Thursday, Nov 14th @ 7pm

     Rockport Opera House - Saturday, 23rd @2pm

March/April: “Maine’s 200th: Music of Early Maine”

     Brunswick UU Church - Sunday, Mar 8th @ 2pm

     Newcastle - St. Patrick’s Church - Sunday, Mar 15th @ 3pm

     Portland  - Maine Jewish Museum - Thursday, Mar 19th @ 7pm

     Rockport Opera House - Saturday, Mar 21st @ 2pm

     Belfast Library - Sunday, Mar 29th @ 2pm

     Farnsworth - Thursday, April 23 @ 2pm


May: “Heartbreak Hotel”

    Brunswick UU Church - Sunday, May 3rd @ 2pm

    Portland  - Maine Jewish Museum-  Wednesday, May 6th @ 7pm

    Rockport - Saturday, May 9th @ 2pm

    Newcastle - St. Patrick’s church - Sunday, May 10th @ 3pm


November - “All A-Twitter” 

Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809): String Quartet Op. 33 No. 3 (“The Bird”)

Allegro moderato

Scherzo: Allegretto

Adagio ma non troppo

Finale: Rondo – Presto

Peter Sculthorpe (1929-2014) String Quartet No. 8 (1969)

Con dolore

Risoluto; calmo

Con dolore

Con precisione

Con dolore

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132 (1825)

Assai sostenuto – Allegro

Allegro ma non tanto

Molto adagio

Alla marcia, assai vivace

Allegro appassionato 


March/April - “Maine’s 200th: Music of Early Maine”

With Guest Artist, Eric LaPerna, percussion

Songs of Chief Membertou - 

Trad. Mi’kmaq

transcribed by Marc Lescarbot (1606/7)

arr. by Gabriel Sagard Theodat.


Trad. Basque tune

arr. by Ferdinand Liva

Imperii proceres

Heinrich Isaac (c.1450 - 1517)

Four Songs from Canconiero de Palacio  

Juan del Encina (c.1468 - d.1529/30)

Todo los bienes

Más vale trocar

Levanta, Pascual

Hoy comamuos y bebamos

Sir Walter Raleigh’s Galliard  

attr. to Francis Cutting (1550-1603)

A Sad Pavane for these distracted times  

Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)  

arr. by David Byers

Les Bergers et Les Ameriquaines from Concert Donné à Louis XIII en 1627 par les 24 Violons et les 12 Grand Hautbois

Anon., arr. by Kirsten Monke

Ballo del granduca  

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)

Concert pour Quatre Parties de Violes 

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)


Sarabande, Rondeau

Gigue anglaise

Gigue française


The Birks of Abergeldie from Henry Playford’s Original Scottish Tunes 

Anon., (1700)

“Little Ben” A Country Dance from Heinrich Isaac (c.1450 - 1517) 

Arr. by Myles Jordan

Prelude from Te Deum

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)


May: “Heartbreak Hotel”

With Guest Artist, Emily Birsan, soprano

A Selection of Renaissance Songs w/ Emily Birsan, Soprano

Béla Bartók (1881-1945): String Quartet No. 1, Sz. 40 (1909)



Allegro vivace

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951): String Quartet, Op. 10 (1908) w/ Emily Birsan, Soprano


Sehr rasch

"Litanei", langsam

"Entrückung", sehr langsam


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Lisa Westkaemper

PO BOX 401
Damariscotta  ME  04543