Tucked in between a lot of raucous rock and roll and a Beatles tribute band there will be a few hours of classical music guaranteed to provide a lovely, relaxing and inspiring change of pace at the Haverford Music Festival. At 4 p.m. on September 6, the Lansdowne String Quartet and the Celtic Women and Friends will perform beginning at 4 p.m.
By day, the members of the Lansdowne String Quartet are an accountant, a music teacher, a university researcher, and a book dealer. But at night they all become serious musicians practicing sometimes more than two hours a night before finding sleep. Dorothea DiGiovanni, Eiko Ogiso, Suzanne Stevens, and Laurie Wolfe are all members of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra and have chosen to devote a good part of their spare time to creating beautiful music. The string quartet was formed in 2006 allowing the music of the orchestra to reach more local residents.
“We loved it,” Ms. DiGiovanni says of the Haverford Music Festival. “It has been a wonderful experience.” This year the string quartet will again play at The Rock on Eagle Road. The fourth and newest HMF stage and only indoor stage is housed inside a former storefront now occupied by Grace Chapel. The intimate performance space has about 109 chairs and almost all were filled last year. DiGiovanni and her fellow quartet members will play all four movements of Dvorak’s Opus 51 in E Flat, the Slavonic.
Just a short while after Ms. DiGiovanni finishes her performance with the string quartet, miraculously her violin becomes a “fiddle” when she joins the Celtic Women and Friends playing an hour of traditional Irish, Scottish, Welsh and American tunes. “ A little blarney is included at no extra charge,” Ms. DiGiovanni laughs.
She is joined by Don Simon who plays the bodhran, a kind of Irish drum and Brenda Norris on guitar and Augie Fairchild on the flute. Susan Simon can play the bagpipes, and oboe or a penny whistle, whatever the tune calls for and Barbara Nyce will sing or play the whistle.
DiGiovanni says every one of these musicians has studied music and are “very serious” about their music. “It is a lot of work, but it is an area of joy also,” she says.