The Annisquam Village Church concert season continues on Saturday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m. with chamber music of Holbrook Robinson, played by the Denovo Quartet. Robinson has close ties with Annisquam from his childhood summers there. The late Kira Robinson, the composer’s mother, emigrated to the U.S. during the Russian Revolution. The French-speaking group that she started upon her retirement in 1974 from Adelphi University still meets weekly in Annisquam. Following in the academic footsteps of his parents, Robinson is professor of French at Northeastern University with a deep passion for music. He is a self-taught composer, strongly influenced by (mostly tonal) works in both romantic and modern repertoire that have coherence and breadth.
Robinson’s quartets reflect his French propensities as suggested by the titles of his works: Accélerations, Célébrations, Langoureux Vertige, etc.. Jakov Gubanov, one of the last private students of Dmitri Shostakovich, writes of Robinson’s “individual style” and his “embrace of many noble traditions” . . . “Even though the music language leans on tonal, mostly diatonic idiom, the music sounds quite contemporary. There are many features, so attractive to both a professional and a common listener: rich and diverse texture with intensive polyphonic work, bright thematic ideas, convincing structure, and – what is most important – a strong spiritual message in each composition. I am very happy that inspiration never abandons you and that you have such responsive artists performing your works.”
Since their debut at the Deer Valley Music Festival in 2015, the Denovo Quartet has quickly established a creative presence in the greater Boston area as sought-after performers and collaborators. Mentored by the Muir Quartet at Boston University, Denovo Quartet is known for their robust sound and energetic interpretations and has been featured on numerous recital series performing both classic and contemporary repertoire. Recent engagements include performances at the Alcyon Chamber Music Series, Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Brookline Library, and Parish Center for the Arts. While remaining grounded in the standard quartet canon, Denovo’s curiosities also extend to contemporary music, where they have an extensive background performing and recording new works. They were fortunate to work with Joan Tower at the Deer Valley Music Festival in the summer of 2015 and premiered Douglas Friedman’s “The Pilgrim,” which has since inspired them to seek out exciting new music. New commissions include recording quartets by Northeastern University professor Holbrook Robinson as well as current Northeastern University composition students. The quartet members come from Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Washington. Individually, they have performed across the US and on tours to China, Russia, Europe, South America, and Canada. They have played in master classes for such renowned musicians as William Preucil, Stephen Clapp, Christian Tetzlaff, Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, and for the Emerson, Tokyo, Arianna, JACK, and Atrium Quartets. Each member of Denovo holds a graduate music performance degree from Boston University. All four freelance and teach privately in the greater Boston area.
The concert takes place in the newly renovated sanctuary of the historic Annisquam Village Church, renowned for its resonant acoustics and classic New England simplicity. All are welcome to a reception following the concert in the Village Church Cove Room.
Admission at door $20 / Seniors and Students $15 or order on-line through
The Annisquam Village Church is located at 820 Washington Street (corner of Washington and Leonard Streets) in Gloucester. 978.281.0376.
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Holbrook Robinson, composer
MaeLynn Arnold, violin
Michael Hustedde, violin
Amberly Lamphere, viola
Daniel Dickson, cello
Kathleen Adams, Music Director