Classical music, chamber music, especially string quartet music have long been very important to me as a listener. For more than fifty years I listened, but also wanted to learn to play the cello so that as an amateur musician I could too make such music. A busy professional career and retirement to rural Maine made that dream seem out of reach until I discovered the presence in mid-coast Maine of the DaPonte String Quartet. Suddenly, although far from cities with arrays of world class music, I found here an extraordinary group of exceptionally well-trained musicians that was intent on playing the world's finest string quartets at the highest level and to do so generously for multiple villages easily accessible to me, and to my amazement a member of the Quartet agreed to take me, a senior citizen novice, as a student..
TheDaPonte String Quartet contributions to this area are many faceted: they play in formal concerts and take mini-performances to village and rural schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and retirement communities. Through benefit performances they support other non-profit organizations. Members of the Quartet teach students of their instruments, coach amateur chamber musicians, and even serve as conductor of student and amateur orchestras.
The DSQ always gives the highest quality performances. They are known for their impeccable intonation, well-grounded phrasing, and exquisite ensemble sound. Their level of excellence is, of course, partly the result of their great talents and training at top conservatories, but most of all it is due to their sustained intensity of rehearsal and deep attention to understanding the compositions and the composers. Their pre-concert lectures open the way for deeper appreciation of the music and reveal the commitment these musicians give to every work they perform every time. The DSQ has an unusually broad repertoire and offers more than 30 performances over the course of the year in multiple venues in order to be accessible to audiences dispersed over a wide geographic area.
Recognizing the income limits of many who live in this area, the DSQ has kept concert ticket prices at a very modest level.
To sustain their generosity , however, they have had to make personal sacrifice in income and to divert precious time and energy to non-musical tasks. With more support from generous donors, corporate and grant support, the musicians could do more of what they all yearn to do, namely enhance the advancement of their own artistic development for the benefit of all concerned .
These extraordinary musicians deserve wider appreciation and support from those who understand how valuable such artistic endeavors are to our culture and wellbeing.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
as a listener at their concerts, as a student of a Quartet member, as amember of an amateur orchestra conducted by a Quartet member, as a former member of the Board of the Friends of the DaPonte String Quartet (FDSQ), as a donor to the FDSQ, as a volunteer, and as a member of the general public.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Ensure that they have sufficient support to advance artistically, bring guest artists to perform with them, give them the support to take their concerts on tour, commission new music for them to perform, and support the production of CDs of their fine performances, and enhance their personal income.