The Hausmann Quartet
The Hausmann Quartet

The Hausmann Quartet and the Maritime Museum of San Diego are presenting a classical concert series aboard the 1898 ferryboat Berkeley.

“Haydn Voyages: Music at the Maritime” will explore the evolution of the string quartet through the lens of Joseph Haydn‘s quartet cycle, as well as related works by modern composers. Each program will also include commentary by noted UC Santa Barbara musicologist Derek Katz.

“Concerts inside the McKinney deck of this historic vessel will provide an extraordinary and unique venue to experience the music of this master while taking in San Diego’s picturesque harbor scenery,” said Mark Montijo, vice president of the museum.

The performers in the Hausmann Quartet are faculty artists-in-residence at San Diego State University, and the quartet is the ensemble-in-residence for Mainly Mozart. Their programs for the ferryboat Berkeley series are:

February 21 — Beginning, Entr’acte, Finale. The inaugural concert will feature Haydn’s first and last string quartets, Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s “Entr’acte” from 2011, and American/Mexican composer Conlon Nancarrow’s first quartet from 1946.

May 15 — Haydn and Cage. If Haydn as the epitome of classicism, John Cage was the trailblazer of the postwar avant-garde. The concert will feature Haydn’s “Sun” and “Sunrise” quartets and Cage’s “String Quartet in Four Parts,” a spare, beautiful view of the four seasons based in part on Indian philosophy.

September 25 — Folk Festivities.  Haydn was one of the first classical composers to incorporate folk material into the string quartet. Hausmann will play two evocative examples of this exploration. Two modern works also explore the influence of traditional music on the string quartet: Linde Timmerman’s “Cante de Ida y Vuelta (Round Trip Songs)” and Brooklyn-based composer/violinist Colin Jacobsen’s “Brooklesca.”

November 20 — London Travels. Haydn had a wonderful association with London, and his opus 74/1 reflects the worldly, cosmopolitan style of his later years. The British connection continues with the “String Quartet no. 1” of Benjamin Britten, written in the summer of 1941 in Southern California, and his teacher Frank Bridge’s hauntingly beautiful “Three Idylls.”

All concerts will be on Sundays at 4 p.m. The Maritime Museum will be open for touring (free with ticket) and refreshments will be available starting at 3 p.m.

Individual concert tickets are $25, $20 for museum members, and $10 for students and military. Tickets for the entire series are $80. All tickets are available online or by calling 619-432-2314.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.