Carlsen Center to launch virtual concert series with KC-based string quartet and wine pairings

Johnson County Community College's Carlsen Center is partnering with Opus 76 Quartet, above, for the center's first-ever digital artists-in-residence for the 2020-2021 season. Photo credit Gary Rohman.

Johnson County Community College’s Carlsen Center has announced a partnership with Kansas City-based classical music ensemble Opus 76 Quartet for the center’s first-ever Digital Artists-in-Residence for the 2020-2021 season.

According to a press release, Opus 76 Quartet is “a group of renowned musicians” with “energetic interpretations of the classics.” Opus and the Carlsen Center will present a new, virtual chamber music series of one-hour concerts entitled, “Eat, Drink, Play!”

The concerts will be paired with cameos from some chefs from around the Kansas City region, who will offer wine pairings to go with the performance.

Carlsen Center General Manager Emily Behrmann said the quartet was originally going to be featured as part of the center’s September 2020 series, which was ultimately recorded and broadcast due to COVID-19.

Behrmann said this new virtual series was the result of a brainstorm session between her and Keith Stanfield, Opus 76 Quartet’s founder, on how to engage with the community during the pandemic.

“He proposed this series, and the combination of food, wine and classical music was, well, classic,” Behrmann said in a release. “I agreed to give it a try. We may be the first venue in Kansas City to engage digital artists-in-residence.”

The series premiere on Sunday, Dec. 20, will feature selections from Handel’s Messiah, Johann Strauss’ operetta “Die Fledermaus,” the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” ballet and some Christmas carols.

Below is the schedule for the remainder of the season:

  • Jan. 21: a family program featuring Dvorak’s “American” string quartet
  • Feb. 22: a classics program, featuring Schubert’s Cello Quintet in C
  • April 1: a spiritually themed program featuring  works from Haydn and Mendelssohn
  • June 17: another classics program featuring works by Dvorak and Brahms

Tickets are $15 per program and are available for a limited time. For additional ticket information visit the university tickets web page here.