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Award-winning Barkada Saxophone Quartet in concert at WVU

Barkada QuartetThe Barkada Quartet & pianist Anastasia Antonacos will perform a Guest Artist chamber music concert on the campus of West Virginia University. The performance takes place on Wednesday, March 29 at 6:00 PM in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre; located at 2261 Monogahela Blvd, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505.

The centerpiece of this contemporary music program is Barkada Quartet’s premiere of “Ex Machina”—a new original work for saxophone quartet by internationally renowned composer, Marc Mellits. Another highlight of the program is Indiana University of Pennsylvania Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition David Martynuik’s 2016 composition “Quintet #2 ‘Sierra Vita’” for saxophone quartet and piano. Other music includes original works for saxophone quartet by composers Christine Delphine Hedden, Guillermo Lago, and David Maslanka. 

The concert is free and open to the public. Please contact music@mail.wvu.edu or call (304) 293-5511 for more information.

The members of Barkada Quartet are Christopher Elchico, soprano saxophone; Shane Rathburn, alto saxophone; Perry Roth, tenor saxophone; and Justin Polyblank, baritone saxophone.

Said to display “virtuosity of the utmost distinctive order” (Splash Magazine), Barkada Quartet is the first saxophone quartet to capture the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition’s coveted Grand Prize. Formed in 2011 at the Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music (JSoM), Barkada Quartet’s individual members share a friendship and musical camaraderie of such strength that their performances are said to be reminiscent of “watching a group of men having a chat at the water cooler.”

Barkada Quartet has provided fresh music performance and education in over a dozen states and three countries, including Italy and Japan. Barkada’s 2016-17 season includes the premiere of a newly commissioned original work for saxophone quartet by internationally acclaimed composer Marc Mellits as well as an ambitious work for saxophone quartet and piano by composer David Martynuik. His “Quintet #2 ‘Sierra Vita’” represents the continuation of a large-scale collaborative project launched in 2015 titled Root Movement.

In 2014, Barkada Quartet released their first album, Aventura. The Quartet’s past performances have garnered international recognition. They were one of just four American chamber ensembles invited to participate in the open division of the 8th Osaka (JPN) International Chamber Music Competition & Festa in May 2014, and their Fischoff Double Gold Winner’s Tour in 2012-13 sent them throughout the American Midwest and Northern Italy.

Through virtuosic performances, thoughtful artist-composer collaborations, and meaningful educational outreach, Barkada Quartet hopes to remind audiences that chamber music is known historically as “the music of friends.”

Anastasia Antonacos has given notable performances around the world as a solo recitalist and chamber musician.  She has played at venues such as the Salle Cortot, Casa Orfeo, Holland’s Alkmaar Conservatory, and Alice Tully Hall.  She has also played in Greece, Russia, France, and Belgium, as well as various places in the U.S., including Washington D.C., where she testified for funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

She won First Place at the International Young Artist Music Competition in Bulgaria, and she holds prizes from the Capdepera International Piano Competition in Mallorca and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition.   In 2004 the Greek Women’s University Club of Chicago awarded her the Kanellos Award.  She attended the Holland Music Sessions, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and the Wilhelm Kempff Beethoven Course in Positano, Italy, where she was one of eight pianists selected for an intensive study of Beethoven led by John O’Conor. 

Dr. Antonacos has made solo appearances with the Northshore Philharmonic Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.  She has collaborated with violinist Joseph Silverstein, as well as with members of the Vermeer, Cassatt and DaPonte Quartets.  She was a chamber music coach at Bay Chamber Concerts’ Next Generation program for many years.  She regularly serves as a masterclass teacher and adjudicator.  A former member of the full-time piano faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she holds a master's and doctorate in piano performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Maine School of Music.  She lives with her husband and daughter in Portland, where she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of Portland by the Phoenix.

David Martynuik is an associate professor of Music at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He teaches classes in theory, orchestration, and music education. Under his guidance, the IUP Symphony Orchestra performed at the 2009 PMEA Convention in Valley Forge, Pa., and the 2011 MENC Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore, Md. The orchestra has also performed  at Symphony Space in New York City and Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh.  

He completed his PhD degree in music education at Florida State University, where he studied conducting with James Croft and composition with John Boda. Prior to his pursuit of a doctorate at FSU, Dr. Martynuik was a successful instrumental music director in Harford County, Maryland. Dr. Martynuik earned a MM degree in clarinet performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Fred Ormand. He has performed with the Litton Quartet, the Celentano Quartet, and the Gorell Trio. Most recently, he collaborated with clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester and pianist Roman Rabinovich. He has served as principal clarinetist of the Susquehanna Symphony, St. Joseph Pro Musica, Eastern Wind Symphony, and Maryland Winds. 

As a composer and arranger, Dr. Martynuik's compositions have been performed across the United States. His “Songs of Memory and Imagery,” based on texts by Rita Dove, are available from Ludwig Masters Inc. In 2012 his "Circulo de tiempo" for choir, flute, cello, and harp was premiered by the Rowan University Concert Choir—under the direction of Christopher Thomas. His “Quintet for Clarinet and Strings” was premiered by the Litton String Quartet in April 2010. Dr. Martynuik is a member of the League of American Orchestras and CBDNA.

This performance was made possible by the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts & School of Music.

For more information about Barkada Quartet, please visit us at www.barkadaquartet.com, www.facebook.com/barkadaquartet, or e-mail barkadaquartet@gmail.com.