Chamber Music Quad Cites will be back for a long-awaited concert on Saturday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m., at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1809 Mississippi Blvd., Bettendorf.
The “America: A Prophecy” program for this concert, the first for CMQC in 21 months, has roots in the 1880s and the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. Conservatory founder Jeanette Thurber envisioned a school where all Americans — including women, people of color, and the disabled — would be welcome to study. One of her faculty recruits was the Czech composer Antonín Dvorák (1841-1904), who became director of the National Conservatory in 1892.
The composer came to believe that the “future music of this country must be grounded in Negro Melodies,” according to a CMQC release. The Sept. 25 concert explores this prophecy via three strains of Black music in the United States: folk-based (Harry Burleigh), popular (Scott Joplin), and the later, modernist work of Pulitzer Prize winner George Walker. The program will close with a Dvorák F-minor piano trio.
In the first half of 1893, Dvorak wrote his beloved Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 (“From the New World”), and he spent the summer in Spillville, Iowa, a Czech farming village. The “New World” Symphony had its world premiere Dec. 16, 1893 in New York, and will be performed by the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in its Oct. 2-3, 2021 concerts.
Performers for the Sept. 25 chamber music concert will include CMQC artistic directors Thomas and Gregory Sauer, along with violinist Charles Wetherbee. The Sauer brothers are Davenport natives who co-founded CMQC in 1994.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for students, available in advance online, at www.chambermusicqc.org, and will be sold at the door beginning one hour before the concert. Asbury United Methodist Church has a universal masking policy, regardless of vaccination status; they ask audience members and performers alike to comply with this policy.