You don’t have to be a classical music fan to enjoy the concert by Saint Helens String Quartet, joined by brilliant Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto, on Sunday, Nov. 2, 4 p.m. at Lopez Center.
They play everything imaginable: Shostakovich, Mozart, Astor Piazzola, Philip Glass, The Beatles, Jovino Santos Neto, Bernstein, Debussy, Peter Schickele, Ken Benshoof – the list goes on and on. They often play 20th century composers, even composers who are still alive.
Jovino Santos Neto, one of the composers, “explores jazz, classical and Brazilian traditional music with equal zeal,” says Seattle Times reviewer Paul de Barros.
Paige Stockely Lerner, the quartet leader, says they want to present music that is “beautiful and exciting, that you would want to listen to again.” She says they avoid pieces that are “tortured intellectual exercises.” On Lopez, they will collaborate with composer/pianist Santos Neto in this concert, a rare occurrence. They will also play some other northwest composers.
Santos Neto, who studied classical music in Brazil from age 12 on, is on Seattle’s Cornish College musical staff with the Saint Helens Quartet string players. They have gained musical respect for each other’s very different kinds of music.
“One does not choose music as much as one is chosen by music to play. It is more of a mission,” says Santos Neto. He was greatly influenced by the legendary band leader Hermeto Pascoal, as well as many other famous Brazilian musicians.
Saint Helens has their own exciting repertoire, as listeners on Lopez will find out.
The adventurous quartet is made up of first class string players. Stockley Lerner (cello), Michael Leiberman (viola) and Adrianna Hulscher (violin) all have been with the Northwest Ballet Orchestra as well as many others. Stephen Bryant (violin) leads the Beau Quartet in Canada and plays with the Seattle Symphony.
Tickets for the concert are available online at www.lopezcenter.com and at Lopez Center (468-2203) or Paper Scissors on the Rock, Islehaven Books, Blossom Organic Grocery and Islandale Southender. They are $15 general admission and $10 for youth.