For Immediate Release—Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

SUNY Geneseo's Tremont String Quartet to Perform at Governor's Inauguration

GENESEO, N.Y.—The State University of New York at Geneseo's Tremont String Quartet will perform at the New Year's Day inauguration of New York State Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer in Albany.

Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl recommended the Tremont String Quartet when asked by inauguration organizers for potential performers. The string quartet was then formally invited to perform at the ceremony. SUNY Geneseo is the only campus in the SUNY system to have a string quartet in residence.

"It's a most unusual honor to take part in the governor's inauguration by playing at the capitol building," said Linda Kirkwood, who plays viola in the quartet. "We appreciate this opportunity to visit Albany as SUNY Geneseo's musical ambassadors."

The quartet will perform three sets between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Jan. 1 in the Governor's Reception Room, also known as the War Room, in the Capitol Building to entertain guests taking tours of the capitol. The War Room was reclaimed and restored in 1997 as part of a $41 million capitol restoration project to preserve the historic building. The Albany Symphony Brass Quintet will perform two sets in between the quartet's sets of light classical music.

The quartet also includes Kirkwood's husband, James Kirkwood, who plays cello; Richard Balkin, who plays first violin; and Balkin's wife, Laura Mahan Balkin, who plays second violin.

The Kirkwoods and Balkins are all lecturers of music in Geneseo's School of the Arts and reside in Geneseo. They have been performing together since 1977. They named the quartet after Tremont Street, which is located near the New England Conservatory in Boston, where they all studied music and where Richard Balkin and James Kirkwood performed together in a chamber music program.