When Martine denBok first moved to the Kootenays, she was reluctant to part with the rest of her string quartet Die Mahler, which she’d performed with for years in Victoria.
But recently the other three members announced they will travel to Nelson for a special one-night performance at St. Saviour’s Pro Cathedral on Monday.
“I’m so excited they’re coming all the way out here to play with me,” denBok said, noting she initially moved to pursue her music teaching career.
“What made my move possible was two full-time teachers retired in the area within one year,” said denBok, who was thrilled to help fill the vacancy.
“My family lives in this area, and they were aware I was interested in moving out here. As opportunity is not a lengthy visitor, I snapped it up.”
She currently teaches approximately 40 students in Nelson, Winlaw, Castlegar and New Denver while also keeping up a full-time gig as a symphony member of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.
But she’s especially thrilled to be playing this concert, the fifth in the Selkirk Pro-Musica series, because it means she gets to reunite with Grammy-nominated fellow violinist Pablo Diemecke, as well as Larry Skaggs and Liz Massi.
She said the group has a unique chemistry.
“We like to say Liz and I are the flowers, while Larry and Pablo are the thorns,” she joked. “We’re very different people, but there’s a cooperation and a willingness. Pablo is a strong personality and the three of us have a lot of respect and admiration. He makes it easy to go with the flow.”
Her relationship with him is particularly close, because they both play violin.
“I think the reason Pablo enjoys working with me as a second violinist is we both have a command for the instruments. I’m an excellent follower and a sensitive player, while he’s a leader of leaders.
“Often, though, seconds can be follow-y and I don’t play like that. I don’t play like a second, I play like a first. So we have a fantastic blend in our sound for that reason.”
She said the night will include Latin compositions to showcase Diemecke’s talents, but will also include classics.
“We’re going to be bring Nothing Else Matters by Metallica, arranged for string quartet. We’ll play some Schubert, as well as some excerpts from bigger quartet repertoire. We won’t be playing entire works, but we’ll be selecting favourites.”
She said this concert is a rare opportunity, as not many string quartets come to the area. Their concert last year sold out.
The show is scheduled to last approximately 2½ hours.
Tickets are $15 and available from Otter Books or at the door.