—By Emily Kaiser, UCA Publicity Intern
Colorado State University music professors Michelle Stanley and Jeff LaQuatra, also known as the Quatra Duo, are debuting two new pieces at their upcoming Virtuoso Series Concert, Something New: Music for Flute – Stanley on flute, LaQuatra on guitar. The performance takes place on Monday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Organ Recital Hall at the University Center for the Arts.
Although Stanley and LaQuatra have been performing together for many years, this is their first official performance as a duo. The couple first crossed paths 20 years ago at a wedding gig while working for the same agency.
“Since we met playing the wedding, we realized we had a real musical connection, so following that, over the years, we’ve played many recitals,” Stanley explained. “He’s [LaQuatra] played with me here at CSU before working here, and we did a recording of a CD that was released in 2006, so we’ve been playing formal, classical concerts together for years and years, but never as a formal duo.”
Stanley and LaQuatra said guitar and flute complement each other well. Although the tonality of both instruments blend well, LaQuatra said that their biggest challenge combining guitar and flute is matching their volume because the flute is a much louder instrument.
The first half of the Virtuoso Series Concert consists of Stanley’s solo work, and the remainder of the concert features the duo’s premiering pieces. “One is a four-movement suite by a jazz and guitar composer from Minnesota, James McGuire … The second piece is a six-movement suite by Portland composer Bryan Johanson,” LaQuatra said.
“This is [Bryan’s] first piece for flute and guitar,” he continued. “All six movements are based on paintings by Paul Kleé.”
The suite is called “Painted Music,” and images of Kleé’s works are going to be projected onto a screen as the two perform. What’s unique about this concert is that each of these suites were commissioned specifically for Stanley and LaQuatra.
In addition to the Virtuoso Series Concert, the recently married couple has many other events coming up. They are performing at St. John’s Cathedral in November; recording another CD in June; going to China with their record label, Parma Records, next October; and are planning a concert in California next spring. They are also releasing a new album in 2020, and although they have not named the album, they encourage supporters to be on the lookout for its release.
Tickets are free for CSU students, $3 for youth under 18, $10 for adults, and can be reserved online at csuartsticket.com, or at the UCA box office Monday–Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.