Acclaimed String Quartet Plays Salem

The Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series will feature the Cuarteto Casals Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Hudson Hall at the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette University.

Since its founding in Madrid in 1997, the Cuarteto Casals has become recognized as one of Europe's most talented young string quartets. The Spanish quartet has garnered extensive critical acclaim and has won top prizes at many international competitions. They have performed in Europe, the United States, Japan and South America.

"Its sound [is] simultaneously powerful and sensitive... [The quartet] impressed the audience with its technical sovereignty and passionate joy of playing," said a Die Welt review.

The New York Times also praised the quartet. "One string quartet may play with more or less warmth or unity than another, but comparatively few produce the kind of distinctive tone that sets an ensemble apart. The Cuarteto Casals ... has a vivid sonic signature."

The concert will feature pieces by Mozart, Ligeti and Brahms.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, and are available at all Safeway TicketsWest outlets or by calling 1-800-992-8499. Willamette staff, faculty and students can purchase tickets at the Music Department. Faculty and staff tickets are $12; student tickets are $3. Call 503-370-6255 for more information.

Two master classes will be offered, one with the University Chamber Orchestra Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 5 p.m. and one with student chamber groups Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 10:20 a.m. Both will be in Hudson Hall at the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center. They are free and open to the public.