PORTLAND – The celebrated Borromeo String Quartet will return to Portland to perform the world premiere of renowned Maine composer Elliott Schwartz’s new chamber work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at Merrill Auditorium.

Schwartz’s composition, String Quartet No 2 For Louise and Aaron, was inspired jointly by the artistry of Maine sculptor and visual artist Louise Nevelson and the creations of legendary American composer Aaron Copland.

Schwartz is the Robert K. Beckwith Professor of Music at Bowdoin College. He has taught at the Brunswick college since 1964, including 12 years as chair of its music department.

Other selections on the Borromeo Quartet program for the PCA performance are the String Quartet in D Major Op 19 No 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven and the String Quartet in A minor Op 41 No 1 by Robert Schumann.

Members of the Borromeo String Quartet are Nicholas Kitchen, violin; Kristopher Tong, violin; Mai Motobuchi, viola; and Yeesun Kim, cello.

A recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Medallion for Artistry and the Presidential Scholar in the Arts award, Kitchen debuted with the North Carolina Symphony at age 12. A sought-after lecturer and teacher in the United States and abroad, he serves on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Tong has been praised for his depth of insight, virtuosity and creative flair. He has performed under the baton of many of the world’s most esteemed conductors, including James Levine, Mstislav Rostropovich and Charles Dutoit, and has appeared as a guest soloist with the Mizayaki Festival and Verbier Chamber orchestras.

Motobuchi is a faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the Tenrikyo Institute of Music in her native Japan. She holds degrees in music and string performance from Michigan State and Rice universities and is the recipient of numerous national and international awards.

Kim made her orchestral debut at age 13 with the Korean Broadcasting Service Symphony. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Boston’s Jordan Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and has collaborated with revered musicians, including Joshua Bell, Rudolph Serkin, Leon Fleisher and Richard Stoltzman.

On Monday, May 5, from 5 to 6 p.m., the public can observe the Borromeo ensemble in a free open rehearsal at the Portland Conservatory of Music at Woodfords Congregational Church.

Composer, musician and music scholar Dr. Daniel Sonenberg will lead a preperformance discussion with Schwartz and members of the Borromeo ensemble at 6 p.m. May 8 in Merrill’s Green Room.

Concert tickets are $34. Student tickets are $10. Tickets are available through PortTix, the box office at Merrill Auditorium; by calling 842-0800; and at pcagreatperformances.org.


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