After hundreds of gigs throughout southern Colorado, the Veronika String Quartet will say goodbye.
And rightly so, they will come out on a strong feminine note. Their latest season, titled “Muse, She, the Empowering,” features works written, dedicated, and inspired by women: “VSQ was founded as an all-female group; it has been run by women for more than 30 years; women make up the majority of our audience,” a press release read.
The band’s final performances will be Friday at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Pueblo and Saturday at Packard Hall at Colorado College. They will perform works by Alexander Borodin and Dmitri Shostakovich, both dedicated to the composers’ wives, and a 2020 piece by composer Lera Auerbach.
“It’s (VSQ) the thing of my life. This is who I am,” said co-founder and violinist Karine Garibova. She is also a member of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
“Our heritage and our cultural shock waves are still there in the community. Many of our students teach and perform professionally in the region and country. We have accomplished a lot.
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In accordance with the Latin expression “Quod me nutrit me destruit”, which translates as “what feeds me also destroys me”, overconsumption is the reason for the dissolution of the group. Garibova’s hands need a rest, otherwise she won’t be able to play. And when she told the other members of the quartet about it, they decided to stop.
“The hours and the intensity and the practice, I can’t handle it. I have to slow down,” she said. “It’s the start of a new chapter for all of us. to lead to.
The quartet, named after co-founder and violinist Veronika Afanassieva, was born in 1989 in Moscow when its four musicians were told by their teacher at the Russian Academy of Music Gnesin: “You have potential. Start preparing for the competition.
They came to the United States in 1992, having been invited to study with the Fine Arts Quartet at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The position was followed by residencies at the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio, and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, before landing the prestigious gig as quartet-in-residence at Colorado State University Pueblo in 1999.
The transition to life in the United States was not easy.
“It was a shock,” Garibova said. “We didn’t speak much English.”
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Since then they have maintained an active role in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, playing concert series, schools, nursing homes and libraries, and continuing to teach regularly. In 2005 the group became a non-profit organization and in 2019 accepted a performance residency at Colorado College.
There has been some turnover in the roster over the years, including the addition of its first male musician in 2011. Current members of the quartet include Afanassieva, who is also a stand-in for the Philharmonic Orchestra; violist Katya Dobrotvorskaia, member since 2000 who also plays for the philharmonie; and cellist Igor Zubkovsky, a member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Washington, DC, who replaced this season.
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Garibova believes part of the quartet’s legacy will be helping listeners learn to appreciate contemporary classical music. At first, audiences didn’t want to hear heavier pieces, like Shostakovich’s, and instead preferred lighter selections.
“Over the course of a year, people said we needed to program more Shostakovich,” she said. “We have turned the tide. The contemporary classic does not scare. People don’t like conflict music. There are works with a lot of drama and philosophy. To learn to love it, you have to listen to it more.
Contact the author: 636-0270
Contact the author: 636-0270