With February 29 coming around only once every four years, it is perhaps not surprising to know Halifax’s Cecilia Concerts will present a special leap day concert this year.
To mark the extra day in 2020, the classical music presenter will welcome the award-winning Ulysses String Quartet in a concert of works by Franz Joseph Haydn, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Ludwig Van Beethoven.
With its name paying homage to Homer’s hero Odysseus, coincidentally, the Quartet also found themselves living close to the resting place of former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in Upper Manhattan.
Hailing from three different countries, the Quartet has a special Maritime connection in violinist Christina Bouey.
Originally from Charlottetown, P.E.I., Bouey first began playing violin at age ten. Leaving the Island at age 16, she received a full scholarship to study at the Boston Conservatory and then onto the Manhattan School of Music.
The other members of the Quartet are Los Angeles native Rhiannon Banerdt also on violin, Pittsburgh’s Colin Brookes on viola and Grace Ho, originally from Taiwan, on cello.
Founded in the summer of 2015, the Quartet has quickly risen to prominence, winning multiple awards and playing in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and the Taiwan National Concert Hall. The Quartet was recently named Graduate String Quartet in Residence at The Juilliard School in New York City.
According to the Ulysses String Quartet website, the foursome believes “in the power of music to inspire, enlighten and bring people together” and are committed to sharing their passion “by increasing access to and appreciation for classical music while enhancing audience engagement.”
The Ulysses String Quartet performs in the Lilian Piercey Concert Hall at the Maritime Conservatory of the Performing Arts (6199 Chebucto Rd, Halifax) on February 29. Visit ceciliaconcerts.ca for tickets and information.