By Sonia Gray and George Cady / Special to the Triplicate

Brookings Harbor Friends of Music will be hosting the Rastrelli Cello Quartet April 15 in this sixth concert of the season.

A singularly unusual ensemble, the Rastrelli Cello Quartet has been thrilling audiences with their renderings of non-traditional programming since 2002.

Kira Kraftzoff, founder and artistic director, Kirill Timofeev, Misha Degtjareff and Sergio Drabkin formed the ensemble with a mission to perform music “between the genres,” and their widely varied programs mix comfortably works by Bach, Saint-Saens and Tchaikovsky with that of George Gershwin, Dave Brubeck and Leroy Anderson.

One reviewer has written, “These four players showed some of the best qualities of the venerated Russian cello tradition, namely lustrous tone combined with soulful expression.”

Following a performance at Amsterdam’s famed Concertgebouw another reviewer wrote “to say that their performance was breathtaking is an understatement.”

Russians by birth and training but now based in Germany, the Rastrelli Quartet has performed at most of the major European concert halls, including, besides the Concertgebouw, venues in Munich, Vienna, and St. Petersburg.

The Quartet currently has seven recordings — Rastrelli, Volumes 1-6 and “Cello Effect” — on the Solo Musica, TonArt, Manchester and Genuin labels. In 2009, the Rastrelli Quartet’s CD “Cello in Classic” was nominated for a Russian Grammy and was given a second prize award.

Their program for this concert, entitled “From Brahms til Beatles” includes works by Johannes Brahms, Peter Tchaikovsky, Edvard Grieg, the Beatles, Paul Desmond and others. The unique mix of classical to contemporary by this amazing all-cello group promises to be a not to be missed event.

A review of a recording of this program enthused, “Have you ever experienced tightrope walking on the cello? Who needs an entire orchestra when four cellos can come along with such a tremendous sound that is full of color and wit and also move us to tears? More than just four cellos, this is cello playing to the fourth degree!”

Concert Ticket and Location Information

The concert will take place at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 102 Park Ave., Brookings, 3 p.m. April 15. Adult tickets are $20. Season tickets are also available. Students under 18 are admitted free and are encouraged to attend.

Tickets may be purchased at the door, or at Wright’s Custom Framing and Art Supplies. For further information call 541-412-2957, or visit www.brookingsharborfriendsofmusic.org.

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