Art of Elan returns to North County for Kontras Quartet & Friends

Art of Elan’s unique talent for programming eclectic and innovative musical evenings continues with the upcoming Kontras Quartet & Friends, presented outdoors on Thursday, April 21 at ICA North, Encinitas. Combining surf culture, classical music, art, video and photography, this will be a unique Art of Elan presentation.

For this program, the Chicago-based Kontras Quartet returns to San Diego for an evening of dynamic music-making and multimedia collaboration. They were selected as Art of Elan’s 2018 Ensemble-in-Residence and performed at several venues including the San Diego Museum of Art, the Lyceum Theatre, San Diego State University and the Music Box in Little Italy before the pandemic took hold residence ended.

Heading north, the program this time features colorful music from some of today’s most innovative composers, including Caroline Shaw, Jessie Montgomery, Javier Alvarez and Nathalie Joachim, as well as the long-awaited world premiere of the string quartet ‘Hidden Mothers’, whose world premiere was originally scheduled for May 2020 planned. Written by Boston-based composer Steven Snowden and commissioned by Art of Elan in 2019, this powerful piece reflects the unseen sacrifices mothers regularly make. It was originally inspired by 19th-century trends in Hidden Mother Photography, where mothers were often disguised as furniture or other objects in portraits to keep young children quiet during long exposures.

“We are grateful for the continued partnership with our friends at ICA North. During the pandemic restrictions last April, we presented a hugely successful concert of new music and dance in the gardens of the Educational Pavilion. It was a very memorable evening and our audience looks forward to returning to this magical place,” said Artistic Director Kate Hatmaker in a press release.

Followers of the Sounds & Swells series (a combination of classical music and high-quality surf films) are also treated to the unveiling of a new project featuring the music of Felix Mendelssohn and local footage from McCracken Films and Joey Taylor Photography, dramatically shot during the bioluminescence phenomenon in March 2020.

This hour-long program takes place outdoors in the Educational Pavilion garden at 7:30pm, with a pre-concert reception beginning at 6:30pm and admission to the current exhibitions of Minerva Cuevas: Dark Matter and Greg Ito: All You Can carry is included in the price of admission.

ICA North (formerly Lux Art Institute) is located at 1550 South El Camino Real Encinitas, 92024. For tickets and more information, visit

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