a gift for our Salem & George Fox audiences

We were so saddened when we were contacted by Camerata Musica organizer George Struble, and by the administration at George Fox University to be told that our concerts wwere being postponed to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was for everyone’s safety, of course, and we completely understood. However, we wanted to leave our audiences in Salem and Newberg, who we’ve come to enjoy so much, with a small gift to pass the time until we return in the Fall.

Please enjoy this excerpt from Arvo Pärt’s contemplative masterpiece, Fratres. We hope to see you soon – stay well and safe – we’ll be back to perform you again as soon as conditions and scheduling allow! – Fumino, Shin, Charles, and Heather.

we’re back!

Photo: Rachel Hadiashar

Our hiatus is over, and we’re back for a few concerts this season. Our repertoire this season will be the final three string quartets of W.A. Mozart, and the three quartets of the “Spanish Mozart”, Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga. Great music in great, intimate spaces, that’s what we have in store this year. We hope to see you there!

Don’t forget to subscribe to this site to get email updates about new concerts and quartet news! Simply enter your email address below, or in the Get Updates field in the right hand column. (We won’t share it with anyone else, and there may only be one or two updates per month, maximum.)

Our major concert will be in Salem, Oregon at our favorite local series, Camerata Musica on April 14, 2019 at 2:30pm. We’ve got a house concert planned, and a few other surprises as well.


salem and thanks

Charles Noble, Fumino Ando, Pansy Chang, and Shin-young Kwon backstage at the Salem Library, Sunday, April 9, 2017.

Today we played our annual concert on the Salem Camerata Musica series at the Salem Public Library. We were originally scheduled to play at the end of January, but I needed to attend to my mom’s affairs following her passing on January 26th. George Struble, director of the series, kindly found a new performance date for us, which we all appreciated very much. It was strange to revisit a program that was all ready to go in late January at the beginning of April. Luckily, everyone kept the pieces in their fingers, and things went together pretty quickly, all things considered. I’m so grateful to my wonderful colleagues, Shin-young Kwon, Fumino Ando, and guest cellist Pansy Chang, for being flexible in the face of a family crisis, and for playing so beautifully today. This wraps up our 2016-2017 season. We’re not sure what’s in store for next year, but watch this space for announcements coming at the end of the summer. Thank you for your support!

upcoming performances & guest cellist

We’ve got two wonderful performances coming up that we think you’ll enjoy very much! The first is on Sunday, January 22nd at 2pm at the Chapel at Mary’s Woods in West Linn. If you haven’t been there, you really owe it to yourself to experience music performed in this amazing acoustic, which is also visually stunning as well. We’ll be playing David Ludwig’s celestial composition, String Quartet No. 1 “Pale Blue Dot”, which was inspired by the journey of the Voyager spacecraft out of our home solar system. It involves a bit of choreography on the part of the quartet, which also makes it a very unusual piece! It is written in an accessible, tonal style, and audiences have loved it when we’ve performed it previously. The remainder of the program is taken up by Dvorak’s last string quartet, the Quartet No. 14 in A-flat major, Op. 105. It is a gorgeous quartet that is inexpliably not played all that often. Tickets and information about the Mary’s Woods concert series is available here: http://maryswoods.org/music-in-the-woods/

The following weekend (Sunday, January 29th at 2:30 pm), we’re in Salem, performing our nearly annual concert for the Camerata Musica series, which we absolutely love. We’ll be playing Anton Webern’s early Langsamer satz (slow movement), which is written in a highly Romantic style, before he began his experimentation with atonality and the 12-tone method of composition. After that, we’ll be playing two big quartets: Beethoven’s C-sharp minor quartet, Op. 131, and the Dvorak Op. 105. Two very different quartets from two great composers at the tops of their compositional games. Camerata Musica concerts are free admission for all. Info is available here: http://www.cameratamusica.org/series.html

Finally, our regular cellist, Heather Blackburn is unable to perform these two concerts with us, but we were able to secure a splendid substitute that may be familiar to some of you.


Pansy Chang was once a member of the cello section of the Oregon Symphony, and who subsequently joined the Portland band Pink Martini and had a university teaching career in Ohio for over a decade. It’s quite a task to learn and re-learn repertoire with a substitute player, but Pansy is more than up for the challenge (as are we) and we’re happily working up these two concerts for you!

Here is some more information about Pansy:

Pansy Chang, violoncellist, has performed in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician.  She has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Chamber Music Northwest, on Bob Sherman’s “Listening Room” – WQXR New York, and in both the Yale University Spectrum Series at Weill Hall and the Yale Faculty Artist Series in New Haven.

Associate Professor of Violoncello at Miami University of Ohio from 2001-2016, she has recently returned to the Portland, Oregon area.  Prior to joining the Miami University music faculty, she served for two years as Assistant to Professor Aldo Parisot and Lecturer in Violoncello at the Yale University School of Music, and for four years as a member of the Oregon Symphony.

Concerto appearances include performances with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, the Oregon Symphony, and many regional orchestras in the Washington, DC and Portland metropolitan areas.  Ms. Chang also performs with the Portland, Oregon-based band, Pink Martini, whose appearances with orchestra include performances with the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

An avid pedagogue, she has given master classes at the Beijing Conservatory in China and Yale School of Music, and has served on the faculties of the Marrowstone Music Festival and the Chicago Suzuki Institute.

Ms. Chang was awarded a Fulbright Grant for study in the United Kingdom, and was a semi-finalist in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition.

Ms. Chang earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at the University of Southern California and Yale University School of Music, respectively, and principal teachers include Aldo Parisot, William Pleeth, Eleonore Schoenfeld, Evelyn Elsing, and Susan Kelly.

Pansy Chang can be heard on the Pink Martini albums, as well as on recordings of works by Ezra Laderman and Martin Bresnick, released by Albany Records, and works by Ben Wolfe, released by Amosaya Music and Planet Arts Recordings.

new season, new music (mostly)

04272016-012 copy
Photo: Rachel Hadiashar

We’ve just added our concerts for the upcoming season, and as our individual schedules get ever more packed, we’re working on consolidating our repertoire so that we don’t have quite as much music to learn and rehearse. We’d love to do more, but we must also pay the bills, too!

We’re doing two major works this year, Beethoven’s Quartet No. 14 C-sharp minor, Op. 131, and Dvorak’s great final quartet in A-flat major, Op. 105. Our two smaller scale works will be Anton Webern’s Langsamer satz, and David Ludwig’s Pale Blue Dot.

pale blue dot


We’re excited to present a fantastic new piece by David Ludwig to our Salem audience next month (click here for details).

The genesis of his String Quartet No. 1 “Pale Blue Dot” arose from David’s musing on the Voyager I mission, which produced one of the iconic images of mankind, which became known popularly as the Pale Blue Dot photo.

You can see the earth contained in the circle above (click on image to enlarge).

One of the other aspects of the Voyager I mission was to send a collection of images, sounds, music, and information about the human race. Among these was a recording of the Cavatina movement from Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130, played by the Budapest String Quartet. There is a brief, spectral quotation of the beginning of the Cavatina in this new quartet.

Of local interest to chamber music fans, Pale Blue Dot was written for the brilliant Dover String Quartet, which has been in residence at Chamber Music Northwest the past few seasons. Below is a recent performance of Pale Blue Dot by the Dover Quartet at the Curtis Institute of Music, where they are the quartet-in-residence.

You can read much more about Ludwig’s inspiration and composition of this new quartet on his blog.

thanks for a great season!

Last night we played Beethoven’s monumental Grosse Fuga, Op. 133 as part of the Going Boldly in Lake Oswego concert presented by Cascadia Composers. It was a fantastic concert organized by Linda Woody, who also had a world premiere (Elegy for a Dead Soldier) on the program. It was a fantastic audience, and we were in good company with many excellent local performers on the bill before us.

Believe it or not, this is the end of our ninth season together. Next year is our 10th anniversary season, and while plans are still being made, I can promise a fair amount of Beethoven will feature, and a variety of other composers as well. We’ll see you in the fall!

UPDATE: You can find a video of our Grosse Fugue performance on our Sights & Sounds page.

coming soon: american string quartets

We just returned from Tacoma, Washington, where we played our American String Quartets concert to great audience acclaim (yes, you can program 21st century music and people will like it!) on the fantastic Second City Chamber Series; and Portland, you will get your chance to hear it on Sunday, February 15th at 2:00 pm at the University of Portland’s (5000 N. Willamette Blvd) Buckley Center Auditorium.

(L-R) Samuel Barber, Daniel Ott, Kenji Bunch

We’ll be performing Samuel Barber’s String Quartet, Op. 11, with its gorgeous adagio (it’s original setting), written all the way back in 1936. Oregon native and newly returned from Brooklyn composer Kenji Bunch will be on hand to introduce his String Quartet No. 2 “Concussion Theory”, based upon the Dust Bowl period (during which the Barber was written, by the way) in the American midwest. Finally, we present one of the major new quartets of the new century, Daniel Ott’s String Quartet No. 2. It just so happens that Dan is a alumnus (Class of 1997) of the Curtis Institute of Music, where Barber was once a student (Class of 1934). It will be a fantastic concert, and we hope that we will sell out the concert!

All_Classical_logo copy

Admission is by a suggested donation of $10, with all the proceeds benefitting AllClassical.org, Portland’s 24-hour classical music station and amazing community resource, building cultural community in Portland and beyond.

portland performance of nw composers added to schedule


We’re happy to announce that on Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 2pm, the Arnica Quartet will be performing an all-American concert of string quartets at the Mago Hunt Recital Hall on the University of Portland campus (5000 N. Willamette Blvd). Two of these composers are alive and well – and both trace their roots back to the Pacific Northwest. Kenji Bunch, violist and artistic director of Fear No Music, grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, and after making his name as both performer and composer in New York City, has returned to make his home in Portland, Oregon. Daniel Ott grew up in Puyallup, Washington, and currently makes his home in New York City, where he has a thriving composition and teaching career.


Samuel Barber – String Quartet in b minor, Op. 11 (1936)
Kenji Bunch – String Quartet No. 2 “Concussion Theory” (2012)
Daniel Ott String – Quartet No. 2 (2011)

Continue reading “portland performance of nw composers added to schedule”

salem camerata musica concert opens arnica season

arnica-4x4Please join us for our first concert of the 2014-2015 season this weekend – Sunday, November 2 at 2:30 pm at the Salem Public Library. We’ll be playing three quartets by three composers with deep associations with the city of Vienna, Austria: Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert. The concert is free to all comers – please check out the Camerata Musica website for more information.