This story recently appeared in the winter 2012 edition of Harker Quarterly.
The Parker Quartet, the latest in a line of top-flight classical performers to appear at the Harker Concert Series, put bow to string for a packed house at Nichols Hall auditorium on Oct. 26.
The quartet opened with famed minimalist Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres.” First violinist Daniel Chong and violist Jessica Bodner began with the piece’s foreboding harmonies, which were greeted by the cellist Kee-Hyun Kim’s percussive pizzicato, providing an effective, if somewhat violent, contrast to the delicate work of his partners. As second violinist Karen Kim was on sabbatical, David McCarroll served as her replacement that evening, providing a soft, constant hum behind the ominous and sometimes mournful lines.
Astara Marcia commented that the performance was “excellent. I’m a classical musician myself,” said the violist with the Palo Alto Peninsula Pops Orchestra. She also enjoyed the presentation of the event, saying “I’m very impressed. It’s a great way to get people to come back.”
The quartet launched into the evening’s big crowd-pleaser, Franz Schubert’s “String Quartet No. 14,” subtitled “Death and the Maiden,” known to many a listener of chamber music. The quartet took an almost explosive approach to the material, while at the same time allowing themselves plenty of subtlety in the quieter sections. The piece was a great showcase for the musicians’ splendid technique and tight interplay, which the audience met with loud applause.