Miro Quartet performs Beethoven for Butler School of Music’s 100th anniversary

Jackie Wang

The Miro Quartet filled the Jessen Auditorium to near maximum capacity Saturday, on its second night of performing the complete cycle of Beethoven’s quartets.

The chamber music group played in celebration of the Butler School of Music‘s 100th anniversary. A six-part concert series is part of the larger centennial celebration. 

Violinist William Fedkenheuer, a senior lecturer in the School of Music, said the music appeals to a wide audience of music fans.

“I think for what we do, the demographic is usually an older audience,” Fedkenheuer said. “We’re lucky enough that in Austin that the demographic is pretty mixed.”

The quartet teaches private lessons and coaches quartets at the School of Music, while maintaining an international tour schedule.

“Every place we appear, we represent UT,” violist John Largess said. “We’re acting as ambassadors all over the world for the University, and for the School of Music.”

Largess said their schedule gives the group little time off.

“I feel like I have three jobs,” Largess said. 

Music performance junior Diana Burgess trains with Largess as part of her music education. Each quartet member trains with different chamber groups.

“I’ve taken classes with all the guys in the Miro Quartet,” Burgess said. “My chamber group is about to play a Beethoven quartet. I play the cello, so I just wanted to see them play one. They’re just wonderful, so I just love watching them every chance I get.”

Jerry Gindele, father of quartet cellist Joshua Gindele, traveled from Pittsburgh to hear the concert and said his son began playing music at the age of 3. 

“It’s so hard to get to this level in classical music that we’re always astounded,” Jerry Gindele said. “He’s been very fortunate. There are a lot of talented kids that aren’t doing nearly what they’re doing. It’s been a great ride.”

Carl de Boor, a retired professor from Washington State, said he flew in from Orcas Island after being impressed by the quartet last year at the Orcas Island Chamber Festival.

“It’s a gift,” de Boor said. “When you say string quartets, you say Beethoven. I wish to go to the second set.”

Annie Moss Moore, owner of the largest Beethoven database, traveled with de Boor to watch the quartet’s concert series on her favorite composer.

“The third movement of the last piece may be the most beautiful thing ever written,” Moore said. “I want to spend the rest of my life listening to the Miro Quartet playing Beethoven. I think I’m ruined.”

The Miro Quartet will wrap their six-concert cycle at UT on Sept. 29. Visit the quartet’s website www.miroquartet.com for more information.