KPU String Quartet-in-Residence strikes emotional chord with dark performance

Thu, Oct 27, 2016

Surrey, B.C. – Afraid of the dark? This concert may not be for you.

One of the most dynamic and exciting world-class ensembles of its generation—the Borealis String Quartet—in residence at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), is premiering a unique program that plunges both audience and musicians into pitch black darkness.

Out of Darkness into Light came out of the Quartet's ongoing quest for nuance and colour within musical expression. “The perception of these colours influences how we articulate the music,” said violinist Yuel Yawney. “The whole human emotional spectrum can be expressed in terms of shades of light or dark.”

Comprised of Yuel Yawney, Patricia Shih also on violin, Nikita Pogrebnoy on viola, and Sungyong Lim on cello, the Borealis String Quartet have received international critical acclaim; praised for their fiery performances, passionate style, and refined, musical interpretation.

Their latest collaboration is a sensory music experience that takes the audience on an auditory journey literally out of darkness to the illuminated reaches of the human soul.

The concert begins with a groundbreaking composition by Georg Freidrich Haas that challenges both performers and audience as they are submerged in darkness for a deeply moving listening experience. The Borealis String Quartet must rely on their memory and performance skills as they play Haas’s work in complete darkness without music scores or the ability to see one another.

Additional works on the program include vita Borealis, the work of local Vancouver composer Farshid Samandari. vita Borealis is informed by Samandari's interest in spectral music techniques and by the music and customs of the First Nations peoples of the Canadian North. It was commissioned specifically for the Borealis String Quartet and will be performed for the first time in Surrey.

Out of Darkness into Light premieres Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. at the Surrey Arts Centre. For more information, visit Tickets are $30, $15 for students and available at Surrey Civic Theatres Box Office: 604-501-5566 and online at

Photos of the Borealis String Quartet are available for download on KPU’s Flickr page.

About Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at

Media contact:
Tatiana Tomljanovic
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

Corry Anderson-Fennell
Manager, Media and Communications
t: 604.599.2840
c: 604.828.5232

For more KPU news: