27 February 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Rulanzen Martin
Prof Francis Petersen
Prof Francis Petersen says that the members of the Odeion String Quartet have a tremendous passion and drive for excellence.

The Odeion String Quartet of the University of the Free State (UFS) once again delivered a stellar performance, cementing its position as the best and only resident string quartet at the  university with its Reflections on a Legend 46664 concert on 15 February.

In honour of the late former President Nelson Mandela, “the concert is a unique way to celebrate a great statesman, a great leader, a man whose belief in unity in diversity, in the value of an excellent education, in human rights and social justice, is today more relevant than ever for us in South Africa, and at this university”, said Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Music correlates with prison number

The concert featured a chamber ensemble attributed to each number. A 4-string quartet by Michael Stimpson titled Robben Island, a 6-string sextet by Antonin Dvorak in A major op.48 I-Allegro- moderato, a 6-string sextet by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky in D minor Op.70 II Adagio cantabile e con moto; a 6-string sextet by Johannes Brahms in B flat major Op.18 II- Andante, ma moderato and a 4-string quartet by Matthis van Dijk titled Reflections Of A Moment.

According to Samson Diamond, conductor of the quartet ,each piece was chosen to correlate and represent his prison number. It is attributed as follows:
4: Despair
6: Hope
6: Sacrifice
6: Freedom
4: Selflessness 

"This concert was not an attempt to send out a message but rather to honour and celebrate Mandela using some of the poignant quotes that are pivotal to our history and his character, together with music that I felt would do justice to that," said Diamond.

Odeion String Quartet remains pride of the UFS

Tonight, we are not only celebrating former President Nelson Mandela, but we are also celebrating one of the many achievements of the Odeion String Quartet,” said Prof Petersen. He was speaking here about the quartet’s Best Free State production win at the Free State Arts festival for Reflections on a Legend 46664.

The quartet has remained as one of the flagship entities at the UFS. “They are the only resident string quartet at a South African university, which symbolises our commitment to the arts,” said Prof Petersen.


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