About


Mission

The mission of keeping a rare musical flame alight is a noble and often challenging one, but The Bohemian Quartet is more than up to the task.  In this case, the acclaimed Providence, Rhode Island-based ensemble-featuring violin, viola, cello, and bass-specializes in music of the Romany or “Gypsy” tradition, along with related Eastern European folk styles.

Story

The Bohemian Quartet was formed in 2005. Violinist, Stan Renard, a composer and virtuoso player with an impressive list of credentials, assembled the group with the idea of preserving the tradition and indulging in the virtuosic playing of classic gypsy music. Renard recruited like-minded friends: Dave Zinno on upright bass, Christine Harrington on cello, and Nancy Richardson on viola. Together they’ve made a commitment to the genre, and aspired to performing it with both reverence and adventure.  Indeed, like every good curator, the BQ at once embraces the ancient traditions, and still wanders off in newer, lovely, unpredictable directions.

The Bohemian Quartet borrowed its name from a quartet formed over 100 years ago in Czechoslovakia. That group, later called the Czech Quartet, ultimately disbanded in 1934. Appropriately enough, the two entities-BQ-v.1 and today’s iteration share much more than a name. They shoulder a passion for the deep-rooted authenticity of the Romany tradition, as well as the ability to play that historic repertoire with extraordinary joi de vivre. On the aptly titled “Beyond Tradition”, the quartet’s newest recording, the group’s intentions are true and accomplished.  The project was recorded live at the lovely Blackstone River Theatre, in Cumberland, RI, and St. Paul’s Church in Portsmouth, RI (home of the Portsmouth arts Guild). Produced by Harrington and the quartet, the recording is a journey through musical vernacular of gypsy life, with fast tempos, virtuosic playing, spry strings crying and dancing, and above all the flair of performance that makes this sound so utterly riveting.

Accolades have followed the quartet since its inception. The quartet was featured on the “One World Show” produced by Robert Malin, which received an award for Best Music Documentary. “Beyond Tradition” also enjoyed three separate 2010 ballot placements by the Grammy Association.

Bios

Stan Renard, Bohemian Quartet founder and arranger, is a virtuoso violinist, violist and active conductor. He studied violin performance with Veda Reynolds formerly of the Curtis Institute, Alexandre Brussilovsky, who was the Assistant of Leonid Kogan in Moscow and Yehudi Menuhin in London, Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet, Marylou Speaker Churchill, formerly the Principal Second Violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Theodore Arm. In addition to founding the Bohemian Quartet, Stan was a member of the Fragancia De Tango, and the Trio Nostalgia. Stan is an alumnus of the Pierre Monteux Conducting School in Hancock, Maine, and has re-established the chamber orchestra Opus 1 which is now in residency at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Stan most recently formed the Connecticut-based contemporary music group NOVA Musica.  As a conductor, Stan studied with, and was the assistant of, Maestros Lanfranco Marcelletti, Harvey Sollberger, and Michael Jinbo. Stan Renard holds a  Master in Music from the Conservatory of Versailles, France in Chamber music,  a Master in Music from UMASS Amherst in Violin and Viola performance, a MBA from Providence College and a PhD in International Business from Southern New Hampshire University, and a DMA in Violin performance from the University of Connecticut. Stan is currently the conductor of the Colby Symphony Orchestra and serves as the violin/viola applied music associate at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Nancy Richardson, violist, has enjoyed a career in both performance and music education.  She has played in orchestras in Rhode Island, the US and Canada such as the RI Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony (SC) and the Winnipeg Symphony. For more than a decade, Nancy has taught as a string specialist in the Cranston Public School System. She founded the Park View Middle School Fiddle Club and began a guitar instruction program for middle school students with the support of the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts. She believes deeply in the importance of quality music education and the benefits it provides in positive youth development. In addition to her work in Cranston, Nancy has taught for the Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Medicine Hat College in Alberta, Canada. Nancy holds degrees in viola performance from Boston University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has a degree in education from McGill University, Montreal.

Christine Harrington, cellist with the Bohemian Quartet, has performed symphonic and chamber music, as well as Celtic and contemporary jazz. She has performed with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra, trios and duos, as well as having the privilege of performing, premiering, and recording the music of composer, Eliane Aberdam.  Christine has studied improvisation with bassist, Dave Zinno, and trombonist/composer, Hal Crook and works closely with jazz pianist and composer, Joe Parillo.  She is the cellist on his CD of original jazz piano/cello compositions, “Sand Box”.  In addition to performing, Christine has enjoyed a long and enriching career as a public school string teacher/orchestra director.  She has presented many workshops throughout the country on new music for improvising strings as well as workshops for music educators in Rhode Island and Massachusetts on building string programs and teaching alternative strings techniques.Christine holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT and an MALS in Literature and Art from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.

Dave Zinno has been performing professionally since 1980. He has performed with a very diverse list of jazz musicians including  Junior Cook, Jimmy Cobb, Larry Willis, John Hicks, Jimmy Heath, Maxine Sullivan, Dianne Schuur, Ann Hampton-Calloway, Dominique Eade, Rebecca Parris, Shawnn Monteiro, Michael Feinstein, John Medeski, Bob Gullotti,Leo Genovese, Oliver Lake, Pepper Adams, Al Cohn, Tal Farlow, Charlie Rouse, Steve Grossman, Harry Allen , Gray Sargent , Herb Pomeroy , Gregg Hopkins, Mick Goodrick, Dave Liebman, Mike Renzi , Hal Crook, Bob Mover, Esperanza Spalding, Scott Hamilton, Bernard Purdie and many others not to mention theater, regional orchestras and commercials for radio and television. He has performed at festivals and clubs in over fifty cities and towns in Europe, nine cities in South America, Cairo Egypt, and all over the USA and appears on over thirty five recordings with releases on major labels including Konnex (Germany), Soul Note (Italy), Rope-a-Dope/Outrageous records (NYC), Arabesque Records (NYC), Blue Dutchess (USA).   Dave is faculty in jazz studies at URI (teaching bass, jazz theory and improvisation) and Brown University (bass and ensembles) and has taught numerous jazz workshops, camps and master classes in the U.S., Europe and South America.

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