On Sunday, November 4th, Chapman hosted the Quartetto di Cremona, a quartet of musicians from Italy. Since its formation in 2000, the quartet has grown to be one of the most exciting chamber ensembles on the international stage. Quartetto di Cremona is an ambassador for the international “Friends of Stradivari”
project. Regularly, the quartet is invited to play in the most important music festivals throughout Europe and Chapman welcomed them onto our campus this past weekend.
Quartetto di Cremona performed in the Salmon Recital Hall on Sunday, November 4 and taught a master class on Monday, November 5. The significance of the visit stems back many years before the quartet was even founded. A prominent violinist by the name of Henri Temianka formed a quartet known as the Paganini Quartet. The quartet drew its name from the fact that all four of its instruments, made by Antonio Stradivari in the
late 1600s, had once been owned by the Italian virtuoso violinist and composer Niccolo Paganini just around one hundred years before Temianka. Temianka’s quartet quickly became an international success while holding strong roots to the California music scene.
After Temianka’s death in 1992, his son, Dr. Dan Temianka, donated much of Henri’s music memorabilia, letters, awards and artifacts to the Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University. Currently, Henri’s artifacts are on display in a study room specially decorated in Henri’s honor. The study room is perfectly located inside the M. Douglas Library of Music on the third floor of the library. Room LL332.
The importance of the Quartetto di Cremona’s visit to Chapman is because the quartet plays the Stradivarius “Paganini Quartet,” the same instruments Henri Temianka and his quartet played fifty years prior. These instruments are on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation and currently tour with the Quartetto di Cremona.
On their visit to Chapman University, they toured the Multi Media study room dedicated to Henri Temianka and were able to see the impact of the man who played the same instruments before them. They were given a behind the scenes look at the Henri Temianka Archives and collection along with the opportunity to meet Henri Temianka’s son, Dr. Dan Temianka. In addition, the quartet toured around the Musco Center for the Arts where they were astonished by Chapman’s prestigious and world renowned performing arts facility.