Music Commissioned by Art of Elan to Finally Premiere in Encinitas After Pandemic Delay

The Kontras Quartet
The Kontras Quartet. Courtesy of the artists

Art of Élan returns to North County later this month with “Kontras Quartet & Friends,” to be presented outdoors at the Institute of Contemporary Art North.

The Chicago-based Kontras Quartet, selected as Art of Élan’s, ensemble-in-residence in 2018, saw the residency cut short due to the pandemic. They return to the region at 7:30 p.m. April 21 for the performance – to feature a world premiere that was delayed almost two years, along with a multimedia presentation that honors surf culture – at ICA North in Encinitas.

The upcoming program features music by modern composers including Caroline Shaw, Jessie Montgomery, Javier Alvarez and Nathalie Joachim, as well as the premiere of the string quartet “Hidden Mothers.”

Originally scheduled for May 2020, the composition, commissioned by Art of Élan, from Boston-based Steven Snowden, reflects on the invisible sacrifices that mothers make on a regular basis.

During the pandemic restrictions last April, Art of Élan, presented a concert in ICA North’s Garden at the Education Pavilion.

“It was a very memorable evening and our audience is eager to return to that magical space,” said Artistic Director Kate Hatmaker.

Followers of the “Sounds & Swells” series (a pairing of classical music with high-quality surfing films) also will be treated to the unveiling of a new project combining the music of Felix Mendelssohn with local footage from McCracken Films and Joey Taylor Photography.

The photographs and videos captured the bioluminescence phenomenon of March 2020.

General admission to event, which costs $35, includes current exhibits by Minerva Cuevas and Greg Ito.

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