Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University brings the Chicago-based Kontras Quartet back to Grace Chapel for a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 23 as part of the 2017-18 Concert Series. The program will feature “Warning Signs,” a premier by LR composer Luke Benton, LR visiting instructor of music.

Admired for their vibrancy, energy, and technical artistry, the Kontras Quartet has earned a dedicated following for their delightful musical personality. Kontras performs both beloved masterpieces and lesser-known musical gems from every corner of the world.

The Kontras Quartet’s recent and upcoming engagements include international tours of South Africa and Switzerland, broadcasts on classical radio stations nationwide, performances at Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., television appearances on NBC and PBS, as well as sold out concerts in Telluride, Salt Lake City, Raleigh, and Arizona.

The Kontras Quartet records for MSR Classics and have released three critically acclaimed albums. The first, Origins, features new and lesser-known works from the quartet’s home countries, including the world premiere recording of Dan Visconti’s Ramshackle Songs. The recording was commended by Gramophone Magazine for the quartet’s scrupulous shading and control. The second, Lucid Dreamer, features a septet that Kontras commissioned in 2013 with a generous Chamber Music America-awarded grant. The work treads the line between classical music and American folk and invigorates Kontras’ ongoing collaboration with the legendary Kruger Brothers trio, as does its latest 2017 release, the Roan Mountain Suite.

Formed while the group’s members were string principals in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Kontras Quartet began pursuing a professional career in 2009. Kontras enjoyed immediate recognition, holding their own against seasoned string quartets from around the country to win a four-year chamber music residency with the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina, a full-time position established through Chamber Music America’s Residency Partnership Program. The quartet has received continued training with the Vermeer Quartet and Juilliard String Quartet.

The performance is free and open to public; no tickets or reservations are required. Doors will open at 7pm. To learn more, visit lr.edu/publicevents or call the LR Box Office, which is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, at 828.328.7206.

Established in the fall of 2000, the Concert Series at LR serves the University community and the greater Hickory area by providing opportunities to hear and interact with musical artists.

The Concert Series promotes a talented array of artists each season and provides student access to concerts and recitals, artist lectures, and hands-on experience in master class settings.

The Kontras Quartet performs this Friday, 3/23