KPU string quartet-in-residence presents world premiere in an evocative northern adventure

Mon, Feb 27, 2017

Vancouver, B.C. – Ready for adventure? This concert will take you to new and unexpected sonic destinations.

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 takes audiences on a journey across the northern hemisphere in an evocative sonic journey.

Landscapes: A Northern Odyssey came out of the Quartet's ongoing quest for exploring sonic environments through musical expression.

“It is fascinating to experience our world through sound and musical spirit,” said violinist Yuel Yawney. “This concert traverses many continents presenting numerous distinctive sonic northern expressions.”

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

Their latest collaboration transports audiences through an auditory adventure across the expanse of the northern hemisphere from 20th century northern Europe to present-day British Columbia.

The concert features a world-premiere composition written especially for the Borealis String Quartet by Vancouver composer, Owen Underhill that challenges both performers and audience in this intimate and powerfully expressive work. 

Two additional works on the program, also Vancouver premieres and recent commissions for the Borealis String Quartet, convey dramatic contrasting sonic landscapes: first, the expressive and exuberant String Quartet No. 3 by celebrated Latvian Canadian composer Imant Raminsh, and then Time, Sky and Echoes II by Chinese Canadian composer Xiao-Ou Hu, which explores the haunting beauty of a Mongolian folk song. European composers Ernest Bloch and Bela Bartok round out the program with desolate northern expressions and dynamic folk inspired melodies.

Landscapes: A Northern Odyssey premieres March 12 at 3 p.m. at the Orpheum Annex. Tickets are $45, $30 for adults and $15 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Photos of the Borealis String Quartet are available for download on their website.

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

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