Pacific Art League

A passion for art and community since 1921

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Evening of Music with The Corina String Quartet

An intimate evening of music written by African and African American composers
as performed by The Corina String Quartet

Saturday, October 6th at 7:30 | Pacific Art League | $20 donation suggested at the door

Join us on Saturday, October 6th for an intimate evening of music written by African composers performed by Corina String Quartet (Russ Bartoli, Claudia Bloom, azel Keelan and Be’eri Moalem)

Inspired by images from the "The Struggle of Beauty" exhibition, the Corina String Quartet will be playing select music by Chevalier de Saint-Georges, William Grant Still and Florence Price, the first African-American woman to have her work performed by a major symphony orchestra. Also in the program is a movement from the famous American quartet by Anton Dvorak, and a specially commissioned new piece by Russ Bartoli inspired by the seminal film "Born Free". 

The Music

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) lived in the mid to late eighteenth century in Paris. He was by all accounts a man of many talents, being a champion fencer, a  classical composer and virtuoso violinist. He wrote a number of symphonies, operas and a variety of chamber music. The Corina Quartet will be playing the very first of his quartets, in C major.

Florence Price (1887-1953) was an award winning pianist in her day and was the first African American woman to have her work performed by a major symphony. She was a major contributor to classical music in her lifetime, and her work has received a revival in recent years with domestic and international performances.

William Grant Still (1895-1978) is often referred to as the ‘Dean’ of African American composers. His Danzas de Panama, written in 1953, are a charming rendition of Panamanian folk songs using novel percussive and drumming effects to imitate the sounds of traditional African and Hispanic instruments.

Anton Dvorak (1841-1904) wrote his iconic American Quartet in 1893. The quartet remains one of the most popular pieces written for chamber ensembles.Whilst the extent of Dvorak’s references to indigenous folk music are debated, there is no doubt of the cheerful frame of mind of the composer on a happy vacation in Iowa!

John Barry (1933-2011) is synonymous with some of the most famous film scores, including James Bond and of course Born Free. We are delighted to present a new arrangement of his iconic theme music for the latter as arranged by Russ Bartoli, written especially to accompany the gallery visuals.



Claudia Bloom, violin

Claudia Bloom began her studies in Berkeley with Anne Crowden. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music as a full scholarship student under Raphael Bronstein and Ariana Bronne.  She completed her Master of Music degree as a teaching assistant at the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Syoko Aki Erle. From 1982-1990 Ms. Bloom was a member of the Ciompi Quartet in residence at Duke University and a full-time member of the faculty. . Ms. Bloom has performed as a member of the Bloom Duo and Trio with twin sister Madeline Bloom (piano) and brother Jonathan Bloom (cello). . Currently she plays principal second violin in Opera San Jose, is a member of the Grace Note Chamber Players, the Corina Quartet, and the Kineret Quartet, and performs as a recitalist. Ms. Bloom teaches privately and directs the Palo Alto School of Chamber Music www.schoolofchambermusic for children and adults in Palo Alto.

Hazel Keelan, violin

Since living in the Bay Area for the last 11 years, Hazel has enjoyed teaching violin and piano, and working with a number of local professional groups. She is currently playing in West Bay Opera’s La Boheme at the Lucy Sterne center, and in the California POPS orchestra at the Flint Center. She performs regularly as a soloist with her pianist colleague Justin Schrum as Sight and Sound and her passion is to innovate in bringing art, music, technology and community together.

Be’eri Moalem

Violist-violinist-composer Be'eri Moalem has performed all over the world in genres varying from Classical to Klezmer to ethnic Middle Eastern to Electronica. He currently lives in Palo Alto where he teaches music lessons and performs in local orchestras or as soloist in various classical and non-classical improvising ensembles. He has played as violist and violinist with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and Monterey Symphony and as concertmaster with the choral-orchestral group Viva La Musica.  His compositions have been performed by the Fremont Symphony, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and the Kineret Quartet. His 2016 album entitled "Exile" is available at

Russ Bartoli, cellist

Since receiving a bachelor of music degree from the University of Southern California School of Music, he has given numerous performances as recitalist and chamber musician. He was a member of the Trio della Rosa and the Pro Musica String Quartet and currently plays with the Grace Note Chamber Players. Mr. Bartoli studied with Gabor Rejto, Laszlo Varga and Lawrence Lesser and is co-director of the Golden Gate Chamber Players. He is also current co-principal cellist of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony in San Francisco.