A University of Arkansas string quartet will be featured Thursday, Feb. 26, on the nationally broadcast NPR program, Performance Today. It can be heard on KUAF at 9 a.m. and again at 8 p.m., as well as other NPR affiliate stations.
The quartet is comprised of associate professor of music Er-Gene Kahng, violin; former student Ryan Cockerham, violin; and current students Tazonio Anderson, viola, and Patrick Bellah, cello. The NPR recording is the quartet’s recent performance of a String Quartet composed by Arkansas native Florence B. Price, the first African-American woman whose music was performed by major symphony orchestras back in the 1930s.
The quartet’s performance was recorded at the recent “Florence Price Music Festival” held on the U of A campus on Jan. 30 and 31. Like most of the music heard at the festival this Price string quartet was one of many that had been discovered by the University of Arkansas Special Collections library in an abandoned home south of Chicago. U of A music researchers were able to reconstruct a number of previously unknown Florence Price compositions from the scores that had been left strewn across the floors of the abandoned home. The recording by the U of A faculty and students made at the festival was the first time this music has been heard since it was composed in 1929.