Last Wednesday night, CMC BC co-presented a performance by the Bozzini String Quartet in the Murray Adaskin Salon of the first two string quartets written by Owen Underhill – String Quartet No. 1 (1974) and Northern Line – Angel Station (String Quartet No.2) (1996). Owen is an Associate Composer of the CMC and recent recipient of CMC BC’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.
The concert was recorded by Ben Wylie, co-host of re:composition, for Vancouver Co-op Radio CFRO (100.5FM). Here is a movement from Northern Line – Angel Station from CFRO’s live recording of the concert:
After the performance, Ben moderated a discussion with Owen and the Bozzini Quartet, followed by questions from the audience. Owen commented on how he’d unexpectedly run into John Cage in the London tube at Angel Station on the Northern Line, prompting him to write a work with that evocative title.
The concert was part of the 2017 Bozzini Lab at the School of Contemporary Arts at SFU, where Owen Underhill is also a Professor. The Lab is intended for young composers in the early to middle stages of their studies or artistic development. The goals of the workshop are to improve technical skills for contemporary writing for strings and string quartet, and to provide a supportive environment for visionary compositional ideas.
Since 1999, the Bozzini Quartet (Clemens Merkel; Alissa Cheung; Stéphanie Bozzini; Isabelle Bozzini) has been an original voice in new, experimental and classical music. Their skew is radically contemporary, propelling the hyper-creative Montréal scene, and beyond. Not content to parlay received wisdom, the quartet cultivates an ethos of risk-taking, and boldly venture off the beaten track. With rigorous qualitative criteria, they have nurtured a vastly diverse repertoire, unbiased by the currents of fashion.This has led to over a hundred and eighty commissioned pieces, as well as close to three hundred other premiered works. A Bozzini Quartet concert is an art happening, with meticulous and sensuous attention to detail.