Cassatt String Quartet to be in residence for ArtsFest




September 12, 2013

Contact: Dr. Gayle Seymour, (501) 450-3295;


By Stephen Simpson

College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office

CONWAY — The highly acclaimed Cassatt String Quartet will make its University of Central Arkansas debut Oct. 2-3 as part of the UCA Artists in Residence program and ArtsFest, Conway’s annual celebration of the arts.

As part of the residency, the Cassatt String Quartet will perform a public concert Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall. The concert will be free and open to the public. No tickets will be required.

The program will include the world premiere of Mary Cassatt: Scenes from her Life, music inspired by Mary Cassatt paintings in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art collection. Bruce Adolphe, who will be a UCA artist in residence in spring 2014, is the composer.

“This is a very big deal to commission an original composition by a world-class composer,” said Dr. Gayle Seymour, professor of art history and associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. “Add in a performance by a world-class string quartet and you’ve got an exceptional 14 minutes of the best art.”

The Cassatt String Quartet was formed in 1985 and has been known as one of America’s best musical ensembles and musical teachers for the younger generation.

The current members of the quartet are Nicole Johnson, Sarah Adams, Jennifer Leshnower and Muneko Otani.

Oct. 2 residency activities include:

• 4:30-6:30 p.m., quartet masterclasses, Snow Fine Arts Center;

• 7:30-9-30 p.m., solo instrument masterclass, Snow Fine Arts Center.

Oct. 3 activities include:

• 1:40-2:30 p.m., presentation for UCA students, Reynolds Performance Hall;

• 7:30 p.m., public concert, Reynolds.

The quartet is known for teaching and mentoring young artists and composers while offering musical presentations in music history and theory.

“The Cassatt String Quartet is renowned for their work with high school and college students,” Seymour said. “It’s always an inspiration for our music students to get to hear world-class performers such as these. Inspiring young artists is what the Artists in Residence program is all about.”

The group plays a mix of classical masterpieces along with contemporary music at concerts. They have worked with a number of famous artists and composers.

The Cassatt discography has been named three times as the Best of the Year CD Selection by The New Yorker magazine.

The Artist in Residence program is funded by UCA’s arts fee and is administered by the College of Fine Arts and Communication. For more information, call the Office of the Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication, at (501) 450-3293 or e-mail

For more information, contact Dr. Gayle Seymour at (501) 450-3295 or

The UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication includes the Departments of Art, Communication, Mass Communication and Theatre, Music and Writing. The college’s primary mission is the preparation of the next generation of artists, educators and communicators. For more information about CFAC, visit or call (501) 450-3293.