The Altius Quartet, a Colorado ensemble, recently asked composer Michael Ippolito to write a piece for them to premiere. The group told him they liked the light, transparent qualities of his earlier string quartets.  

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But Michael didn’t want to repeat his earlier work, so he tried something different. He’d written his previous quartets on the piano. This time, he sat down with the instrument he used to play in middle school: the cello. Michael’s experiments with an instrument he’d largely forgotten how to play led him to write a piece that took his music to surprising places.

Hear Michael Ippolito’s String Quartet No. 4 performed by the Altius Quartet in the CPR Performance Studio -- and the backstory of this new piece -- in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio. 

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