The double CD “Alabama String Quartets” features original music by composers living in Alabama — including Matthew Scott Phillips, Brian Moon, Chris Steele and Monroe Golden — performed by Amernet String Quartet.
A new musical project spotlights original music by Alabama composers, and features musicians including University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty and alumni.
“Alabama String Quartets” is a two-CD set of music composed for chamber music’s most “classical” of sub-genres, the string quartet, and its expression in the hands of living composers from the Deep South. The music is recorded by the acclaimed Amernet String Quartet; the album is presented by the Birmingham Art Music Alliance.
Each piece is an original work by a composer living in the state of Alabama, “which has a rich and often overlooked culture of contemporary classical music,” said Matthew Scott Phillips, DMA, alumnus and adjunct faculty teaching music theory in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Music.
UAB is well represented on the project. Phillips and Brian Moon, M.M., alumnus and associate director for Academic Innovation at the Center for Teaching and Learning; Chris Steele, UAB Department of Music piano faculty member; and Monroe Golden, UAB computer science alumnus, have compositions on the recording.
Compositions by musicians Michael Coleman, Joel Scott Davis, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Holland Hopson, Mark Lackey, Cynthia Miller, Tom Reiner, Chris Steele, Lawren Brianna Ware are also featured. Listen to the CD on Spotify. A recording of the Amernet String Quartet playing Phillips’ “Alabama String Quartets” composition String Quartet No. 4 is available online.
Alabama, although better known for the jazz of Lionel Hampton or the country music of Hank Williams, has a vibrant culture of classical music, according to the album’s description. Professional training in classical music is offered by numerous institutions of higher learning. There are several major orchestras in the state, including the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, whose history stretches back to 1921, and also opera companies, chamber ensembles and dedicated presenters, such as the Birmingham Art Music Alliance.
BAMA is an autonomous nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting music by Alabama composers and presenting concerts of recently created art music to communities in Birmingham and beyond. Members include local composers, professional performers, students and enthusiasts who wish to preserve and maintain the long tradition of music as a living art form.
The Amernet String Quartet has garnered recognition as one of today’s most highly regarded chamber ensembles and features Misha Vitenson and Franz Felkl, violins; Michael Klotz, viola; and Jason Calloway, cello. Always committed to the music of our time, the Amernet String Quartet has commissioned works from today’s leading composers. They are currently ensemble-in-residence at Florida International University in Miami.