By Benjamin Wideman / Director of Media Relations
MANITOWOC — A string quartet with European roots dating back more than 100 years will be performing later this month at Silver Lake College.
The Pro Arte Quartet, founded in 1912 by students at the Brussels Conservatory in Belgium, will present a concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31, at Endries Hall, located on campus at the Franciscan Center for Music Education and Performance, 2406 S. Alverno Road. The concert is part of the college’s 2015-2016 Artist Music Series.
Current Pro Arte Quartet members, together since 1995, include David Perry, violin; Suzanne Beia, violin; Sally Chisholm, viola; and Parry Karp, cello.
The foundation for the group’s success was laid in the early 20th century. Its world reputation blossomed in 1919 when the quartet began the first of many tours that enticed notable composers to write new works for the ensemble.
Pro Arte made its New York debut in 1926 and toured the United States frequently. The quartet was performing in Madison in May 1940 when Nazi forces invaded Belgium. The University of Wisconsin responded to the emergency by offering the quartet a permanent campus home, the first such arrangement at a major American university.
The Pro Arte Quartet performs throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and continues to champion both standard repertoire and new music. The group is an ensemble-in-residence at the UW-Madison School of Music and resident quartet of the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, performing regularly on the concert series of both institutions.
The quartet has performed at the White House and, during its centennial celebration in 2012, played for the King’s Counselor in Belgium.
Here’s a look at the current members of the Pro Arte Quartet:
Violinist David Perry joined the Pro Arte Quartet and the UW-Madison faculty in 1995 and was granted a Paul Collins Endowed Professorship in 2003. He is an artist-in-residence and professor of violin. Perry also is concertmaster of the Chicago Philharmonic and the Aspen Chamber Symphony (Colorado), and frequently serves as guest concertmaster of groups including the Ravinia Festival Orchestra (Illinois), the American Sinfonietta (Washington, D.C.), and the China National Symphony Orchestra. He has been a soloist with numerous symphony orchestras in the United States, including St. Louis and Chicago, and abroad.
Suzanne Beia is second violinist of the Pro Arte Quartet, an artist-in-residence, and chamber music coach for both the School of Music and the Wisconsin Youth Symphony at UW-Madison. She is concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and Madison Opera and associate concertmaster of the Madison Symphony. She performs regularly with the Chicago Philharmonic and with HeartString’s Rhapsodie Quartet, an outreach program of the Madison Symphony.
Sally Chisholm is violist of the Pro Arte Quartet, professor of viola, and an artist-in-residence at UW-Madison. She is a permanent member of Midsummer’s Music Festival (Door County), the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute (Minnesota) and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. She performs annually in the Festival Der Zukunft in Switzerland and the Marlboro Festival in Vermont.
Cellist Parry Karp is an artist-in-residence, professor of cello, and director of string chamber music at UW-Madison. He received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at UW in 2012. He joined the Pro Arte Quartet in 1976 and holds the longest tenure of any member in the group’s history. Active as a solo artist, Karp performs at concerts and recitals throughout the United States and Europe.
Tickets to the concert at Silver Lake College are $18 for adults, $12 for seniors (ages 65 and older), $5 for children (ages 5 to 18), and free for children ages 4 and younger. Tickets may be purchased by visiting the Capitol Civic Centre box office, 913 S. Eighth St., Manitowoc; by calling (920) 683-2184; or by logging on to www.cccshows.org.