WT’s Harrington String Quartet to Draw Connections Across Disciplines in New Season

Chip Chandler Oct 11, 2022
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WT’s Harrington String Quartet to Draw Connections Across Disciplines in New Season

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — Harrington String Quartet’s upcoming season will dive into unexpected connections to three other disciplines at West Texas A&M University.

HSQ’s “Synergy in G” season opens Nov. 3 and 4, with additional programs in February and April.

Each concert weekend will include an interdisciplinary lecture spotlighting a concept shared between music and other fields of study at WT.

“When we design our season, we first and foremost choose pieces which all four of us are enthusiastic about playing,” said Rositza Jekova-Goza, HSQ first violinist and Harrington Lecturer in Violin in WT’s School of Music. “Our next step is to figure out how to arrange them in coherent musical menus. In doing so, we noticed that we inadvertently had programmed a piece in the key of G major for the opening of each concert.

“Since music is an art which not only speaks to every human being but also shares in its structure, essence and practice the principles of many other disciplines,” Jekova-Goza continued, “we decided to enhance the experience of our audience through the synergy of bringing together music and other disciplines.”

Up first is a program that highlights the interplay between music and mathematics.

The “Musical Ciphers” program will include a 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 lecture in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall, followed by the quartet’s concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall.

The concert will feature Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 6, Johann Sebastian Bach’s unfinished fugue from “The Art of Fugue,” and Johannes Brahms’ Sextet in G Major, Opus 36. Guest artists are Kimberly Sparr, viola, and Dennis Parker, cello.

Each piece includes a variation of a cypher developed by Julius Caesar; the emperor used it to encode messages to his generals, while the composers hid their names and those of others amid the notes in the composition.

Dr. Pamela Lockwood-Cooke, associate dean of WT’s College of Engineering and the Clair Mayes Professor of Mathematics, will discuss the history of ciphers and how the composers used the Caesar Cipher to hide secret messages in their works.

Then, “The Chemistry of Sound” program will include a 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 lecture in Northen Recital Hall and a 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 concert in the Amarillo College Concert Hall Theatre.

The concert will feature Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet No. 1, Opus 76; Grażyna Bacewicz’s Piano Quintet and Bedřich Smetana’s “From My Life” string quartet. Guest artist is Jessica Osborne, piano.

In the lecture, Dr. Nick Flynn, WT professor of biochemistry, will discuss how sound waves affect fermentation. Flynn, a master brewer, will have brewed under the loop of a recording of the concert program, comparing that batch with a control batch that will be brewed in silence. The HSQ musicians and Osborne also will discuss the science of sound waves.

Finally, the “A Working Constitution” program will include a 7:30 p.m. April 26 lecture and a 7:30 p.m. April 28 concert, both in Northen Recital Hall.

In the lecture, Dr. Dave Rausch, WT’s Teel Bivins Professor of Political Science, and the musicians will host a forum discussing on how interpreting documents from centuries ago is similar to interpreting music that was written concurrently.

The concert will feature Florence Price’s String Quartet No. 1, Zoltán Kodály’s String Quartet No. 2 and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet, Opus 135.

Single tickets are $20; season packages are $50 each. Buff Gold cardholders get one free ticket per concert. Tickets will be available at, in the School of Music office or at the door. For information, call 806-651-2840.

The quartet also includes Evgeny Zvonnikov, violin; Vesselin Todorov, viola; and Emmanuel Lopez, cello. Each are lecturers in the School of Music, as well; Lopez also is a Periman Distinguished Artist.

HSQ was established by a generous gift from the late Sybil B. Harrington to benefit the Panhandle community. From its founding in 1981, the quartet has brought stellar credentials and a refined sense of ensemble and musical integrity to performances across the nation and internationally.

HSQ’s collaborative recording with the Phoenix Chorale, “Northern Lights,” was distinguished as iTunes’s Best Classical Vocal Album of 2012. In 2005, the quartet also released a Grammy-nominated album of works by American composer Daniel McCarthy on the Albany Records label.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key principle of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $110 million.



About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.