Arts Campus News

Pacifica Quartet joined at UGA Presents by clarinet virtuoso Anthony McGill

Anthony McGill, center, and the Pacifica Quartet take the Hodgson Concert Hall stage on April 19. (Photo by Eric Rudd Photography)

The Franklin College Chamber Music Series concludes at 7:30 p.m. on April 19 at Hodgson Concert Hall with Brahms’ autumnal Clarinet Quintet. The Pacifica String Quartet is joined by one of the most prominent Black orchestral musicians in the U.S., Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic. Their program also includes music by Prokofiev and the “Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet” by rising Black American composer, pianist and educator James Lee III.

Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberance and daring repertory choices, the 2020 and 2008 Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. Formed in 1994, the ensemble quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. For its first appearance for UGA Presents, the quartet is joined by the brilliantly multifaceted McGill, who made his Ramsey Hall debut in 2016.

“The playing is so suave, so gleamingly elegant and so full of textural riches that you can almost imagine yourself hearing these pieces for the first time. McGill especially is a joy,” San Francisco Chronicle critic Joshua Kosman wrote of the Pacifica/McGill recording of the Brahms and Mozart clarinet quintets. “In all, this is a keeper.”

Lee has a wealth of premieres and other performances this season, given by such ensembles as the Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit and St. Louis symphony orchestras. His clarinet quintet, he writes, “is a four-movement work inspired by historical aspects of indigenous Americas. … There are also many moments when I try to imitate an Indian powwow.”

There is a pre-performance talk in Ramsey Concert Hall at 6:45 p.m. with free admission.

Classical music at UGA Presents continues as the Atlanta Symphony returns to Hodgson Concert Hall on May 1. Two soloists, violinist David Coucheron and harpist Elisabeth Remy Johnson, will be heard in Max Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy,” and conductor Donald Runnicles leads Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony. That concert is during the Performing Arts Center’s 25th anniversary week, which begins with an April 24 performance by six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald.

For each of these performances, 25 tickets are available for just $25, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Performing Arts Center. Tickets for UGA students are always $10.

For a complete list of UGA Presents performances, visit pac.uga.edu/organizer/uga-presents.

To learn more about all UGA Performing Arts Center events, visit pac.uga.edu.

Three ways to order 

  1. Purchase tickets online at pac.uga.edu.
  2. Call the Performing Arts Center box office at 706-542-4400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center box office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (five-minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)

COVID protocols 

For information about the Performing Arts Center’s COVID-19 protocols, visit pac.uga.edu/safety-first. Flexible ticketing will be in place for all performances occurring through May 2022. Patrons may exchange tickets for another performance or receive a full refund until noon on the day of the performance, if occurring on a weekday, or by Friday at 5 p.m. if occurring on a weekend.