Music Reginae brings PUBLIQuartet to Forest Hills
by Sarah Iannone
Jan 29, 2014 | 1727 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The crowd Saturday night at The Church-in-the-Garden in Forest Hills Gardens was not what you would typically think of when a string quartet comes to mind.

But PUBLIQuartet is no ordinary quartet, and according to Barbara Podgurski, artistic and executive director of Music Reginae, they bring their own unique following to each show.

"There was a nice crowd of a lot of a hip younger folks and a bunch of composers," Podgurski said.

Based in Maspeth with their concert home in Forest Hills Gardens, Music Reginae's concerts work to provide a venue for talented and engaging young artists.

The production company has also recently focused on adding a series devoted solely to new music by emerging composers such as PUBLIQuartet.

"They kind of come with their own following,” Podgurski said. “This wasn't about Music Reginae. We’re coming to the end of our 13th season. Since we have more composers, we've moved towards having a great variety of concerts.”

PUBLIQuartet is known for performing newer contemporary classical music, and they also have a competition at the end of the spring for the best new work, where they honor up and coming composers through their Emerging Composers Program: PUBLIQ Access.

"We are trying to incorporate a lot more new music and trying to have composers from New York,” Podgurski said. “A lot of our musicians are from different neighborhoods in Queens."

Podgurski said groups like PUBLIQuartet help them expand their following.

"We've noticed our audience base changes,” she said. “So we've learned to grow the audience."

The cellist of PUBLIquartet, Amanda Gookin, was a student at the Mannes College of Music where Podgurski taught collaborative pianists 10 years ago.

"They're one of the younger groups we've had on the program,” Podgurski said. “This is the first time we've had them and it won't be the last time. They were great even the older folks who didn't know they were going to hear a lot of modern music enjoyed it."

Dan Olson, president of Music Reginae, said this is a great opportunity for them.

"We're trying to introduce the Queens audience to music that will bridge the transition of the classical/contemporary repertoire," Olson said.

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