The Lincoln Calling music festival turned Lincoln hipster hotspot Box Awesome into a shrine of sundry musical genres, showcasing everything from bluegrass to experimental neo-soul punk. Now the Box is hosting a new kind of harmony: classical music.
The Chiara String Quartet is coming to Box Awesome at 6 p.m. this Saturday. Playing "chamber music in any chamber," the quartet's catalogue boasts everything from vintage Mozart to a cover of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" to a tune influenced by the punk band Fugazi, according to the band's Web site.
"If you've never been to a classical music show, this is a good way to hear it," said Jonah Sirota, viola player for the quartet. "You don't have to worry about when to clap."
By playing at Box Awesome, the quartet hopes to eradicate some of the misconceptions surrounding classical concerts, namely that patrons need to dress up, spend a lot of money on tickets and actually know the music to have the best possible experience, said Sirota, who is also an assistant research professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's School of Music.
The quartet has performed outside the country, and its current tour includes stops at Harvard and Columbia University.
Sirota, who's been playing the viola since he was seven, said the quartet draws its influences from locations around the world. One of the group's most popular pieces, "Different Trains," blends taped interviews with Holocaust survivors into the background and intertwines their vocal pitches with the melody. Sirota said the song may be part of Saturday's concert, depending on the setup of the Box's sound system.
Jeremiah Moore, owner of the Box, acknowledges that chamber music isn't exactly the norm for the venue. He said he first booked the quartet when he heard it was trying to broaden its appeal by playing more clubs. This will be the quartet's third performance at the Box,
"The first time I saw them, they blew me away," Moore said. "They have nice, rich-textured sounds. It's going to be quite the experience to see the group performing in an intimate setting like this, instead of in front of thousands of people."
Sirota said the personal nature of the show removed the common barriers between concert-goers and classical musicians.
"Fans can get up close and feel engaged," Sirota said. "It's almost like they're part of the performance."
If You GoWhat: Chiara String QuartetWhen: Saturday, Nov. 15 @ 6 p.m.Where: Box AwesomeHow Much:$7