In the 1930s and ‘40s, Black Mountain College was a haven for many European refugee intellectuals and artists displaced by the rise of Nazi Germany. After a fruitful period in Vienna, Hugo Kauder fled Austria for Holland in 1938, then settled in the United States in 1940. He rebuilt his life with the help of a network of refugee musicians, including a core group that made up the Black Mountain College music faculty in the 1940s.
On Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m., The Tesla Quartet will perform at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 56 Broadway, Asheville. The suggested donation is $10-$20.
The program, presented in collaboration with Hugo Kauder Society, will include Kauder’s String Quartet 4, a piece performed at Black Mountain College in 1945, as well as Bartok’s String Quartet 3 and transcriptions of works by Gesualdo and Ravel by Tesla violinist Ross Snyder.
The Tesla Quartet, dedicated to reconnecting and establishing Kauder's legacy as part of the rediscovery of artists and work associated with Black Mountain College, was formed at The Juilliard School in 2008 and includes Snyder (violin), Michelle Lie (violin), Edwin Kaplan (viola) and Serafim Smigelskiy (cello).
Kauder was a composer-in-residence at Black Mountain College in summer 1945. The Black Mountain College Summer Institutes in art and music began in 1944. The Second Music Institute in 1945 was devoted to the study of polyphony and ensemble playing.
According to the college's press release at the time, "The Gordon String Quartet performed the Quartets No. 4 and No. 7 of Hugo Kauder, who was invited to the Music Institute as resident composer, and as a representative of a contemporary polyphonic style. Among the works of Hugo Kauder performed during the Music Institute were a sonata for violin and piano, songs, choruses, a horn sonata, and a trio for oboe, horn, and piano."