Harrington String Quartet to debut new member at Sunday concert
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Harrington String Quartet is fully international with the addition of its latest member.
Evgeny Zvonnikov, originally from Saint Petersburg, Russia, will perform at his first HSQ concert Sunday as the quartet's new Violin 2 player. He joins ongoing members Emmanuel Lopez, a cellist born in Chile, and Bulgaria natives Rossitza Jekova-Goza, Violin 1, and Vesselin Todorov, viola.
"It's amazing how things have transpired here in the last 25 years that I've been here," said Lopez, the most-tenured member of the quartet.
The newly reconfigured quartet will give its New Beginnings: Quartet Reinvented concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1400 Streit Drive. Tickets are $20. Call 806-651-2840.
Zvonnikov, associate concertmaster of the Wichita (Kan.) Symphony Orchestra and former adjunct faculty member at Wichita State University, was one of about 50 applicants to replace longtime HSQ member Keith Redpath, who moved to Colorado in 2016.
Zvonnikov was second violinist of the Saint Petersburg String Quartet from 2010 to 2014.
"He really brought with him the best possible credentials," Lopez said. "He was already a proven quality."
And the chemistry was instantaneous, Lopez said
"When we first started playing together in the search process, it was immediately apparent to us, without question, that this was the person that we needed and wanted," Lopez said.
The quartet's new beginning will be reflected in the concert repertoire: Joseph Haydn's String Quartet in C Major, Opus 20 No. 2; Joaquín Turina's La Oración del Torero for String Quartet, Opus 34; and Felix Mendelssohn's String Quartet in E Minor, Opus 44 No. 2.
The Turina composition was previously performed by Lopez in another incarnation of HSQ and "is a wonderful way for us to reconnect with the style of early 20th-century Spanish impressionism," the cellist said.
Haydn's work was the first to put the cello in the starring role, having it introduce the main themes in each movement. And the Mendelssohn piece, written in the same year as his marriage and a big relocation, "propelled him forward ... (into) a very mature style," Lopez said.
"He was really looking forward to many new things that were happening in his life, so it seems appropriate for us," Lopez said.
Zvonnikov already has begun teaching at West Texas A&M University, where HSQ members have taught since the quartet's founding in 1981.
"This new personification of the quartet is an entirely new thing," Lopez said. "We are having the best time rehearsing together. Thigns are fitting in so well.
"It was definitely the best decision we could have made," he continued. "We predict tremendous things in the future."