Courtesy of Miro Quartet
Those seeking to begin finals week in a state of relaxation need only head downtown to the Via Vecchia Winery in Columbus’ Brewery District on Sunday. There they can take in an afternoon of classical music performed by the Miró Quartet, a string quartet that formed at Oberlin College in 1995.
Doors to Via Vecchia Winery will open at 12:30 p.m., and the performance will begin at 2 p.m.
The Miró Quartet was originally formed as a way for its members to gain college credit.
“Basically the group was formed so we could all graduate,” said cellist Joshua Gindele, explaining that one of the requirements for graduation was to perform a certain amount of chamber music.
The original members continued performing together after graduation. All four members were then offered faculty positions at the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University. A few years later the group relocated to Austin, Texas, where all members were again hired as a group at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas.
“We’re really looking forward to coming back to Ohio,” Gindele said. “It’s a very comfortable place with lots of friends.”
In the 16 years that the group existed, it has undergone a few member changes.
The current lineup consists of Gindele on cello, John Largess on viola and Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer on violins.
“As you get older, you mature, and that actually sort of transfers into your music making,” said Gindele, who is one of the founders.
“With the experience of teaching and being professors, we’ve just learned a lot about our own playing and how to be better at what we do.”
Gindele said that the group’s experiences in working with students at the University of Texas has inspired it to focus its efforts towards presenting classical music in such a way that it is more appealing to young people.
“We’re really trying to figure out a way to market and make that music accessible and desirable to people who are educated and younger,” Gindele said. “We’re constantly asking ourselves how we can present ourselves and present the music to make it more accessible and relatable to people in their 20s or 30s.”
One way that the group works toward this objective is by presenting themselves as approachable during performances.
“I think classical music suffers from the idea that it’s very elitist and that the musicians are sort of unapproachable,” Gindele said. “I think because we’re young, we talk with the audience, we’re a little more social, we try to educate people as to what they’re about to hear, to try to make us as approachable as possible.”
Gindele’s desire to expose a younger audience to classical music is rooted in his enthusiasm for all kinds of music.
“It still, to this day, really moves me,” Gindele said. “I’m really sort of emotionally connected to music. Not just classical music actually, pretty much everything. And for me, that’s what keeps me going.”
This emotional connection is evident when the length of time that the group has existed is considered.
“Making a career in music, whether its rock or pop or classical, it’s hard,” Gindele said. “There’s a lot of competition. And the fact that we’re still doing it, I think, is a real testament to how seriously we take it, and how we really believe in it.”
Paolo Rosi and Michael Elmer also hold the arts in high regard. This is because, as winemakers, they are artists as well. They are the co-creators of the Via Vecchia Winery.
“What is society without art?” Elmer said, going on to explain that, to him, art is an indispensable part of everyday life.
Rosi said Via Vecchia Winery will offer food service, wine and full bar service.
He also said, however, that guests who arrive early could have to opportunity to take a tour of the winery.
The Via Vecchia Winery is located at 485 South Front Street.
Tickets to the event are $10 for students with ID, $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. Seating will be available, but only on a first-come, first-serve basis.