The St. Petersburg String Quartet offers Russian heritage from an Ohio address. The ensemble, now in its 20th season, is the quartet-in-residence at Oberlin Conservatory, a position first held in 1996 and re-established five years ago.
Toledo will be the beneficiary of that geographic proximity when the quartet performs at 7:30 tonight at Corpus Christi University Parish.
Joining the group will be pianist and Bowling Green State University faculty member Maxim Mogilevsky. The program features music for string quartets by Ann Arbor-based Bright Sheng and Frenchman Maurice Ravel, as well as the Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor.
The St. Petersburg String Quartet was founded in 1985 by young professionals who had recently graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory. What with crushing censorship and a stumbling economy, that was a difficult time in Soviet musical life.
Indeed, just naming the group proved problematic. It was only in 1989, and after the musicians had proved themselves in international competitions, that the government allowed them to adopt the name Leningrad String Quartet.
But with the world so quickly changing, the name was short lived. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the citizens of Leningrad voted in 1991 to re-adopt their westward-looking city's historical name of St. Petersburg. The quartet was quick to follow suit.
The ensemble has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Grammy nomination, and has recorded the entire string quartet literature of Dmitri Shostakovich for the Hyperion label as well as the complete quartet works of Tchaikovsky on the Dorian label.
Pianist Maxim Mogilevsky joins the St. Petersburg String Quartet in music of Bright Sheng, Ravel, and Brahms at 7:30 tonight at Corpus Christi University Parish, 2955 Dorr Street. Tickets are $10. Information: 419-246-8000.