EDMOND—The Jerusalem Quartet played string compositions by Haydn, Prokofiev and Beethoven on March 23 for 677 Armstrong Auditorium patrons, among whom was Consul General of Israel to the Southwest U.S. Eitan Levon.
The first half of the 90-minute concert consisted of Franz Joseph Haydn’s famous “Lark Quartet” and the first string quartet Sergei Prokofiev ever composed, Quartet No. 1 in B minor, Op. 50. The ensemble played the extensive “Razumovsky” Quartet No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven for the second half.
Preceding the concert, 62 season ticket holders and Herbert W. Armstrong college faculty attended a special reception in the auditorium balcony with an address from Ambassador Levon. It was his first visit to the auditorium.
During the reception, Ambassador Levon said he was “amazed” by the work the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation was doing at home and around the world. The foundation supports a concert series in Edmond and biblical archaeology excavations in Jerusalem.
Earlier in the afternoon, Ambassador Levon had given an assembly and held a question-and-answer session for 110 Herbert W. Armstrong College students, Imperial Academy students, and others.
The members of the Jerusalem Quartet, violinists Alexander Pavlovsky and Sergei Bresler, violist Ori Kam, and cellist Kyril Zlotnikov, joined Mr. Levon and Armstrong International Cultural Foundation president Gerald Flurry for the reception. Cellist Kyril Zlotnikov was heard saying of the Auditorium: “I’m still kind of in shock from this place. We did not know what to expect. It’s our first time here.”
One concertgoer told staff that coming to Armstrong Auditorium with her friend for concerts has been “the highlight of our early retirement.” Another guest said that foundation concerts were a “wonderful time to dress up and get to come out and listen to some beautiful entertainment.”
The Jerusalem Quartet was founded in 1993–1994 and made its debut in 1996. It has received music awards such as the Diapason d’Or, the bbc Music Magazine Award for chamber music, and the echo Klassik award for several of its 16 recordings. In April, the group travels to Europe for a concert tour there.
Armstrong Auditorium has hosted several Israeli performers. During the first season of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation’s concert series, Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan appeared with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. When the “Seals of Jeremiah’s Captors Discovered” archeological exhibit opened in 2012, pianists Orli Shaham and Irit Rub, violinist Itamar Zorman, and flutist Sharon Bezaly collaborated for a “Jerusalem Celebration” concert. In April 2013, Armstrong Auditorium hosted a free performance by the Arab-Jewish ensemble Shesh Besh. In 2014, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra performed at Armstrong Auditorium, with former Consul General to the Southwest U.S. Meir Shlomo in attendance. Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital performed with the Venice Baroque Orchestra in 2015.
The Jerusalem Quartet was the penultimate concert of the 2016–2017 Armstrong International Cultural Foundation concert series. The series finishes on April 27 with the Eroica Trio.