PUBLIQuartet: Modern Voices (MetLiveArts)

Nadia Sirota joins PUBLIQuartet (Jannina Norpoth, Curtis Stewart, Nick Revel and Amanda Gookin) on stage at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

By Andrew Andrews

Have you been to a Groupmuse yet? That’s where someone throws a small house party for a bunch of strangers to listen to a live classical musical ensemble in an intimate setting. We’ll get around to attending (and reviewing) one some day. Meanwhile, we’ve been getting their emails since attending their Massivemuse New Year’s Eve event at The Muse over a year ago, and when we found out they were sharing a special deal on tickets for PUBLIQuartet: Modern Voices at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (part of the MetLiveArts program), we jumped on it!

Far from the usual intimate Groupmuse, this was a full-on concert in The Met’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium performed by the string quartet PUBLIQuartet: Jannina Norpoth & Curtis Stewart on violin, Nick Revel on viola and cellist Amanda Gookin. Featuring groundbreaking classically-inspired music of the past decade, the show included two works by winners of the PUBLIQ Access competition: Surface Tension by David Biedenbender, Caroline Shaw’s Valencia, selections from Drones & Viola and Drones & Violin (which the quartet “Frankensteined” into Drones & Viola & Violin with help from Nadia Sirota on viola), LigNEouS for Marimba and String Quartet (featuring percussionist Ian Rosenbaum), and Great Danger, Keep Out—Matthew Browne’s musical interpretation of news accounts of an explosion at the Tesla Experimental Station more than a century earlier.

As with any musical performance, we enjoyed some of the pieces more than others, but the quartet delivered an impressive show that was tight-as-a-guy-wire and as emotionally-charged as a ride on the subway at rush hour: tense one moment, exciting the next, and just plain sleepy on occasion! The staff and volunteers were extremely helpful, and the $25 tickets (discounted from $40) included admission to the museum’s seemingly-endless exhibits—an added bonus for those of us fortunate enough to arrive early or enjoy a quick perusal after the performance.

We’ll admit that classical music is not the center of our entertainment focus, but MetLiveArts is a great opportunity to expand one’s cultural horizons on occasion in two ways—fine art and performance art—at the same time. Give it a shot, and if you attended the show, please share your thoughts below! 4

Andrew Andrews attended PUBLIQuartet: Modern Voices (MetLiveArts) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Friday, March 3, 2017 @ 7:00pm to write this review.