American-Theme Program by Cypress String Quartet at PSU March 3

March 3rd, 2011 by Adam

Program includes Dvorak’s “American Quartet” and a Newly Commissioned Work by Elena Ruehr

Plymouth, N.H.The Cypress String Quartet is known for their elegant performances and has been singled out by Chamber Music Magazine as “a Generation X ensemble to watch.”

The ensemble will bring its signature clear and transparent sound to Plymouth for a single concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3, in Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center for the Arts.

Performing as a quartet is what Cecily Ward, violin; Tom Stone, violin, Ethan Filner, viola and Jennifer Kloetzel, cello do. No teaching, no freelance playing, no individual performances—they play together as an ensemble 100 percent of the time. That dedication to the ensemble has been the mission of the Cypress String Quartet since its formation in 1996. Their schedule has grown to more than 90 concerts a year in major concert halls and venues across the U.S. and internationally.

In just over a decade the ensemble has commissioned and premiered more than 30 new works, four of which are now included on Chamber Music America’s list of “101 Great American Ensemble Works.”

One such commission is a work on the Plymouth program by Boston-area composer Elena Ruehr that Gramophone magazine called “Immediately absorbing … unspeakably gorgeous.” The commission was to illustrate how literature has influenced and inspired music. Ruehr’s work was inspired by the Ann Patchett novel, Bel Canto, and was premiered by the quartet just a year ago.

Patchett’s novel is about a hostage-taking in South America, where a famed soprano is giving a recital for a wealthy Japanese businessman. The singer is held captive with others for months, and her singing is the only link the hostages have to the outside world.

Ruehr loved the book when she first read it, and considered it for an opera before deciding on the string quartet form. She says, “The Bel Canto combines my greatest loves: the modern novel, gorgeous songs from the 19th and 20th centuries and my favorite string quartet, the Cypress.”
Celebrated for the power of its performance and passionate dedication to their genre, Cypress String Quartet combines technical precision with imaginative programming to create unforgettable concert experiences.

Tickets for Cypress String Quartet’s March 3 concert at Plymouth State are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors and $15 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS (2878) or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at

General information about events at PSU is available at ThisWeek@PSU,