Stephen Keyl perform “A Portrait of Bach as Organist” during the Roy A. Johnson Memorial Organ Series session on Friday.

University of Arizona School of Music
Arizona Friends brings ‘youthful prodigies’ — Pavel Haas Quartet

Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, fresh off its 21st annual Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, will host the Tucson debut of the Pavel Haas Quartet on Wednesday.

The 12-year-old Prague-born quartet, which made its international splash soon after winning the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy in 2005, has performed on some of the world’s finest stages, from London to Los Angeles.

Critical acclaim includes the Times of London remarking that the quartet’s sound is “large, quasi orchestral. They take risks. Above all, they play with passion.”

San Francisco Examiner called the quartet’s debut in that city “stunning” while London’s The Independent observed that “these youthful prodigies are all clearly keen to establish themselves in a competitive musical market, but ultimately it seems that they simply want to do justice to a composer, and fellow countryman, they respect.”

The Pavel takes its name from Czech composer Pavel Haas, who died at Auschwitz, a prisoner of the Nazis. The group has recorded Haas extensively, as well as fellow Czech composer Leoš Janácek. 

But neither composer is on Wednesday’s program, a trio of string quartets — one each from Haydn, Britten and Beethoven. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $30, $10 for students through or by calling 577-3769.

Bach and his organ: UA recital paints a portrait of composer

Johann Sebastian Bach’s instrument of choice was the organ. And he was a master.

He played it, he adored it and he composed some of the most intriguing works for the instrument.

University of Arizona organ professor Stephen Keyl will explore some of those works in the latest installment of the Roy A. Johnson Memorial Organ Series Friday. “A Portrait of Bach as Organist” will include Bach’s Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C; and the Fantasia and Fugue in G minor among a program of Bach’s organ works.

Friday’s recital starts at 7 p.m. at UA’s Holsclaw Hall, North Park Avenue and East Speedway. Admission is $10, with discounts available in advance at or by calling 621-1162.

Also this week at the UA:

The Arizona Wind Quintet featuring faculty artists flutist Brian Luce, oboist Sara Fraker, clarinetist Jerry Kirkbride, bassonist William Dietz and Daniel Katzen on horn will perform its spring concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday  at Holsclaw Hall. The program includes Berio’s “Opus Number Zoo,” Ligeti’s “Six Bagatelles” and Piazzola’s “Libertango.” The quintet teams up with the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet to perform Émil Bernard’s “Divertissement” for 10 winds. $10, with discounts available. 

Cathalena E. Burch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.