Academic Spotlight
Faculty Research, Performance and Exhibitions

Student Quartet Gets Notes on Brahms

Story posted April 20, 2009

Once the Brahms got under way, it was a little easier for the Bowdoin student quartet to relax before their audience of one—Roberto Diaz.

The internationally renowned violist was listening intently as the students performed the emotional last movement of the Brahms Piano Quartet in C minor, Opus 60.

Diaz gave the master class following his April 1, 2009, performance at Bowdoin's Studzinski Recital Hall.

"Maybe a little more density to the sound," said Diaz, coaching viola player Nick Daniels '12. "You know, the viola is like the cream in the Oreo. It's what holds the two sides together, yes?"

As their working session progressed throughout the morning, Diaz coached each member of the quartet on issues such as music interpretation, bowing technique and phrasing. By lunchtime, the foursome had congealed into a more fluid and confident quartet.

"It's very exciting for them to play for someone with his professional standards," noted Music Department Chair Professor Mary Hunter, who coaches the quartet. "It makes them step up to the plate. They had a great time and were really listening to each other by the end. It was lovely."

Each year, Bowdoin welcomes dozens of nationally and internationally renowned performers, scholars and artists to campus, many of whom meet with students in classes or in small group discussions and workshops.

This was Diaz's sixth visit to the campus.

Music from the Bowdoin College Music Department archive is available as a podcast within Apple's iTunes Music Store, below:

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