Voices: Haydn & Mozart

Backstage with: 

Jenna Sherry, violin
Mayumi Sargent, violin
Elizabeth Smalt, viola
Lucile Perrin, cello

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Although this event has ended, you can watch the entire program below.

View the 2021 Birdfoot Festival season program book here

Program features selections from:

W.A. Mozart: String Quartet in G major, K. 374

Joseph Haydn: Fugues from the Op. 20 String Quartets

J.S. Bach: Selected Fugues

The string quartet is made up of four instruments—four musical voices with unique personalities interacting as individuals with the ability come together into a whole, a social microcosm. Nowhere is the interaction between individuals and group more richly played out than in the musical form of the fugue, a mischievous canon (think “Row, row, row your boat”; each voice sings the same melody at a different moment), which is also part ritual and part rhetorical exercise.

Join Birdfoot Artistic Director and violinist Jenna Sherry and special guests Mayumi Sargent, violin, Elizabeth Smalt, viola, and Lucile Perrin, cello, to explore some exceptional fugues by Haydn and Mozart and joyful musical moments that blur the line between the individual and the group.

Note: This event features excerpts of works that this ensemble will perform in full on a virtual concert on Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1 PM CDT. More information here


About the Artists:

Jenna Sherry, violin

Born into an international musical family based in Mallorca (Spain), violinist Mayumi Sargent received her Bachelor’s degree from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (Cologne, Germany) where she studied modern violin with Ariadne Daskalakis and received baroque violin lessons from Richard Gwilt. She graduated cum laude from the “Instruments in Historical Perspective” masters program at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Netherlands), where she studied baroque violin with Antoinette Lohmann and modern violin with Johannes Leertouwer.

Mayumi has performed in Germany with the Kölner Kammerorchester, Neuen Rheinischen Kammerorchester Köln, Kölner Akademie, Orchester Düsseldorfer Altstadtherbst, and for the contemporary composers’ collective Zeitklang. She is currently a member of the EOS Kammerorchester (contemporary jazz) and will be performing with Concerto Köln in November 2021.

In the Netherlands, Mayumi is a member of the Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht, the Spanish baroque music group La Pícara, and is co-founder of PuraCorda, a string quartet dedicated to 19th- and early 20th-century Historically Informed Performance). She plays regularly with the Nederlandse BachVereniging and has had the pleasure to work as concertmaster under the baton of Jos van Veldhoven and Peter van Heyghen. She has recently had the privilege of performing Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht on gut strings with the Narratio Quartet for the opening concert of the 10th European Early Music Academy in Vannes, France.

In Spain, Mayumi has played with Orquestra de Cambra Illa de Menorca, and has been invited to coach the Joven Orquesta Barroca de Andalucía. Besides co-organizing two different music festivals and a youth competition in Mallorca, she is co-founder and concertmaster of Ensemble Tramuntana.

Violist Elizabeth Smalt is based in Amsterdam and works exclusively as a chamber musician, in styles varying from period instrument performance to extremely new music.

Her interest in authentic performance practice was developed during her studies with Wim ten Have (one of the founders of the Orchestra of the 18th Century), and later with Musica ad Rhenum, with which she made several recordings. With the Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet she released world premiere recordings of the early 19th century composers John Baptist Cramer and Franz Limmer as well as quintets by Ries, Schubert, Hummel, Dussek and Onslow, all on authentic instruments. She forms a duo with the fortepiano player Riko Fukuda, and together they are directing the project “the Schumanns in Rotterdam” around letters that Elisabeth recently found of the Schumanns in correspondence with her great-great grandfather, a concert organiser in Rotterdam. Recently she has become the violist of the Van Swieten Society, and with them she recorded the early Beethoven quartets, also on period instruments.

Other commitments are the Prisma String Trio, the Brussels-based ensemble Oxalys, Luna String Quartet and a duo with pianist Keiko Shichijo. She is artistic director of the Scordatura Ensemble, that specialises in microtonal music and unusual tuning systems, and in which she also plays the viola d’amore and the Adapted Viola of Harry Partch. In 2001 she commissioned an exact copy of this Partch viola (played like a viol) and she is one of the few musicians to perform his music in this authentic way. Scordatura has meanwhile reconstructed all the instruments needed for Partch’s early chamber works, and after their successful tour ‘Rose Petal Jam’ (2017-18), this season the second tour called ‘Tonality Flux’ will start. 

Elisabeth has premièred works or arrangements for viola by Horatiu Radulescu, James Tenney, Lou Harrison, Frank Denyer, Harry Partch, Anne La Berge, Ig Henneman, Patrick Ozzard-Low and others. As the viola player of Amsterdam’s Zephyr Kwartet she premiered between 1999 and 2007 many new works by composers from Holland and abroad; in 2005 she co-curated their programme “Claude Vivier: Love Songs”, directed by Pierre Audi, at the Holland Festival 2005.

Elisabeth is a regular visitor to the IMS Prussia Cove chamber music festival in Cornwall and was from 2005 to 2011 the musical director of Amsterdam’s KlankKleurFestival (Sound-Colour Festival), a collaboration between chamber musicians and visual artists. CD recordings of her solo- and chamber performances can be heard on Q-disk, Vanguard, Explicit, Fuga Libera, Tzadik, Megadisc, New World Records, Mode, Brilliant Classics, Cobra, Passacaglia, Another Timbre and Kairos.

Passionate about musical culture, cellist Lucile Perrin’s musical path has taken her across several countries. Her interest in historical performance and training in France, Italy, the UK and Germany led her to perform regularly with John Eliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Since 2018, she has also been a member of Orchestre Les Siècles, conducted by François-Xavier Roth. Together with these orchestras and Julien Chauvin’s Le Concert de la Loge, she has taken part in a number of symphonic recordings and performed in venues such as the Philharmonie de Paris, Carnegie Hall, Barbican Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, Wiener Konzerthaus, and the Harris Theater in Chicago.

A keen chamber musician, Lucile has played with the Solomon quartet, Stradivaria, and Julien Chauvin at the Musee du Louvre concert series. A great musical friendship with the pianist Karine Sélo led Lucile to found the Trio Impromptu and collaborate with composer Jerome Ducros, regularly performing his trio and presenting his quintet La Mort du Poète at festival Les Vacances de Monsieur Haydn. She also recently collaborated and recorded Arnaud Petit’s project ‘Memories’. Lucile has also played continuo for various ensembles, including Ensemble Alia Mens, La Cavatine, Gabrielli Consort, Ensemble Matheus.

Born in a musical family, Lucile qualified for the ‘Médaille d’Or’ at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux at the age of 14 and left her hometown to study with cellist Philippe Müller. A few years later she won a scholarship to become the principal cellist of the Italian Youth Orchestra based at the Scuola di musica di Fiesole, later studying with cellist Jérôme Pernoo at the Royal College of Music in London. Lucile’s formative teachers in the UK include Catherine Rimer, Leonid Gorokhov, and Alison McGillivray at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She has also worked with Olaf Rimer at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar. Additional work with David Watkins and Anner Bylsma has been a great source of inspiration.

Passionate about music education, she joined the faculty at the Académie Philippe Jaroussky in 2018 where she teaches young children.