The Hope College Great Performance Series will present the Calefax Reed Quintet on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
“The New York Times” has praised the quintet’s “unadulterated virtuosity,” while the “New Jersey Star Ledger” has called the group “one of the classical arena’s best-kept secrets.”
The Amsterdam-based ensemble has won a number of awards over its 25-year history. The five musicians arrange, recompose and interpret music from eight centuries to suit their collection: from early music to classical and jazz to world premieres; in the hands of Calefax it all sounds fresh and new.
The history of Calefax goes back to the year 1985, when the Amsterdam grammar school “Barlaeus” celebrated its century-long existence with an opera by Willem van Manen. It was performed by the pupils of the school. Four boys from the school orchestra decided to further develop themselves musically in a wind quartet. They dared to ask van Manen, an established composer, to write a piece for them. To their surprise he contacted them in the summer of 1985 with the message that he had finished the piece. He had added a clarinet to their ensemble, which appeared to be an enrichment of the sound spectrum.
Calefax also feels at home outside the boundaries of classical music, as shown by the fruitful collaboration with the Tony Overwater Trio in recent years. The ensemble’s latest CD was released in January 2009, featuring the works of Conlon Nancarrow, the result of years of study and musical pleasure with pianist Ivo Janssen.
Individual tickets are $18 for regular admission, $13 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. Tickets are available at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, which is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.
The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.