For Immediate Release —Nov. 5, 2008
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516



SUNY Geneseo’s Tremont String Quartet to Perform World Premiere of Randolph Partain’s ‘Pilgrimage’

GENESEO, N.Y. -- The Tremont String Quartet, SUNY Geneseo’s acclaimed in-residence ensemble, will premier visiting composer Randolph Partain's "Pilgrimage" Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. in the college’s Wadsworth Auditorium.   The quartet also will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, op. 59, no. 2.  The performance is open to the public without charge.

“Pilgrimage,” which Partain wrote for the Tremont, is a three-movement piece based on a melody which is not heard until the third movement, where it becomes the unifying theme of the entire ensemble.

Partain has received performances of his work on both sides of the Atlantic.  He has been commissioned by some of the country’s most accomplished performers, who have called his music “well thought-out always interesting, and intelligently written.”   His music has been programmed at numerous contemporary music festivals the past decade and he has received multiple awards from ASCAP.   Last November, he was the Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation Fellow at the Millay Colony for the Arts at Steepletop in Austerlitz, N.Y., where he completed “Pilgrimage.”  He won the 2006 International Society of Bassists/David Walter Composition Competition, Chamber Division, for his work “Kelevsma” (clarinet, harp and double bass).  His “Three Simple Talismans for Piano” was chosen for the semi-finals in the Renee B. Fisher Composer Awards for 2006-07, and his orchestral work “Blood Rite” was a finalist in the Columbia Orchestra American Composer Competition for 2007.

Partain studied piano and composition at Florida Southern College.  He received a master’s degree and doctorate in music composition at Rice University in Houston.   His music will receive its Carnegie Hall debut this March when soprano Marion Russell Dickson performs his song cycle “Chasms” in recital.

The Tremont tours with support of grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.  The ensemble has distinguished itself with critically acclaimed performances of standard and contemporary American repertory throughout North America and has numerous recordings to its credit.

Members of the Tremont are Richard Balkin and Laura Mahan Balkin (violins); Linda Kirkwood (viola); and James Kirkwood (cello).