Arizona Friends premiering its 51st commissioned work

2013-12-10T00:00:00Z 2013-12-10T21:02:10Z Arizona Friends premiering its 51st commissioned workBy Cathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Four years after its triumphant Tucson debut with the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, the Fry Street Quartet will return to Leo Rich Theatre tonight for its much-anticipated encore.

The performance will be historic: the 26-year-old, born and raised in Chicago ensemble will perform the world premiere of the Friends’ 51st commissioned work. And if Michael Ellison‘s quartet goes on to a bigger, bolder life beyond its debut, the Fry Street Quartet will share the footnote with the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. Every quartet that follows them will be using tonight’s performance as a template.

“The hope of commissioners and the hope undoubtedly of composers is that this work does get exposed,” said former Friends board member Hal Myers, who arranged for the Ellison commission.

Ellison, who is based in England, borrows influences from Turkey and the East drawn from his decade of living and working in Istanbul.

“I haven’t heard this piece, but it will very likely include some Eastern influences,” Myers said. “Much of his work over the past decade has included traditional Turkish and Eastern musical influences, modes and instruments.”

The Fry Street — violinists Robert Waters and Rebecca McFaul; violist Bradley Ottesen; and cellist Anne Francis Bayless — also will perform quartets by Haydn and Beethoven.

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