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FREE Courtroom Concert featuring Lux String Quartet

Thursday, November 16, 12:00PM

Landmark Center Courtroom 317


Thursday, November 16, 2017, 12pm

Featuring Lux String Quartet

Erika Blanco, violin; Sam Rudy, violin
Benjamin Davis, viola; Eric Graf, cello 


Selections from “Woodworks” – Danish String Quartet
   Waltz after Lasse in Lyby
   Old Reinlender from Sonndala
Appalachian Polaroids – Steven Snowden
String Quartet No. 1 in E minor “From my Life” – Bedrich Smetana
Tango: Por Una Cabeza – Carlos Gardel, Arr. Matthew Naughtin

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About the Artists:

Lux​ ​String​ ​Quarte​t is a Twin-Cities based ensemble, bringing a dynamic edge to performance and education since 2013. As avid recitalists, Lux maintains an active presence in a wide array of musical spheres, from concert halls and churches to coffee shops and podcasts. Their concert series, “Lattes with Lux,” established an enthusiastic fan base and is currently hosted by several local, independent coffee houses around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

A wide spectrum of musical backgrounds and tastes contribute to the group’s creativity, which is reflected in their collaborative projects with other artists. In addition to presenting classical repertoire, Lux frequently collaborates with other musicians, actors, and composers to perform contemporary works, pushing boundaries of presentation.

Dedicated to music education and instilling a love for their art in the next generation, Lux String Quartet presents at elementary schools and early music education programs. They served as quartet in residence at Augsburg University Suzuki Talent Education, and are currently the quartet in residence for the Oskaloosa Music Festival.

Erika Blanco earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from Vanderbilt University and the University of Minnesota, respectively, where she studied with Christian Teal and Mark Bjork. Though trained classically, Erika loves exploring other types of music and enjoys jammin’, stompin’, and shakin’ in any setting. Currently, she maintains an active teaching studio in the Twin Cities, working with Suzuki students of all ages. In addition to teaching, she plays with Lux String Quartet, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, and Charanga Tropical, a Minneapolis-based salsa band. Loving both teaching and performing, Erika feels privileged to have her passion and her career blended together.

Sam Rudy earned his master’s in music theory and performance from the University of Minnesota. Since then he has been active as a teacher and performer of orchestral, solo, and chamber music across the Midwest, currently performing with the Quad City Symphony and Lux String Quartet. He appears regularly in recitals alongside pianist Stephen Self at Grace University Lutheran Church’s concert series. A firm believer in the importance of early music education, Rudy enjoys performing programs for school students in Minneapolis and Oskaloosa, and maintains an active studio of burgeoning young violinists in the Twin Cities. 

Benjamin Davis enjoys an active musical career as violist with Lux String Quartet, acting principal viola with the Des Moines Symphony, section viola with the Quad City Symphony, and interim viola with the Belin Quartet. Davis also serves as the founder and artistic director of the Oskaloosa Music Festival. Ever driven by a creative energy, he is also a travel-blogging, improvising street artist and wannabe poet in the viola/cello duo, Wormwood. In addition to all of this, Davis maintains an active studio of string students. When not on stage or in the studio, you may find Benjamin hiking in a remote mountain range, hosting a chamber music party until the wee hours of the morning, or trying to be as zen as possible on his yoga mat.

Eric Graf is thrilled to be the new cellist for Lux String Quartet. Until his move to Minneapolis, Eric was assistant principal cellist with the Wheeling Symphony, a section player in the Lexington Philharmonic, and principal cellist of the Mansfield Symphony. Eric has performed as soloist with the Mansfield Symphony, Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra, and Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra, among others. Eric loves solo, chamber, and orchestral playing equally, but has a soft spot for chamber music. For the past few years, Eric taught cello all around the Cleveland area and he has plans to grow the same type of teaching/performing life in and around Minneapolis. When not playing or teaching music, Eric enjoys reading, tennis, hiking, and most of all, traveling.



[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”small” image=”icon-info-sign”] Concert Info

October through April
Thursdays from 12pm – 1pm
Courtroom 317, Landmark Center


Hosted by Abbie Betinis.

View the Frequently Asked Questions about the Courtroom Concerts.

Seating is limited and first come first served. Doors open at 11:30. Please call if you are attending as a group of 10 or more (651.292.3267).

Schedule & Programs Subject to Change

About the Host:
Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times), “superb, whirling, soaring” (Tacoma News Tribune), and “the highlight” of the program (Boston Globe).  With over 50 commissioned works for ensembles such as Cantus, the New England Philharmonic, and The Rose Ensemble, Abbie has been awarded a McKnight Composer Fellowship, grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and was recently listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40.  A resident of Saint Paul, she is adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University, and was composer-in-residence with the Schubert Club from 2005-2017.