String quartet broadens music opportunities at FPU
A new ensemble and a new full-time faculty member will boost the strings program at Fresno Pacific University.
The University String Quartet debuts this fall under Dieter Wulfhorst, who joins the faculty full-time. The quartet is an important addition to FPU's list of performing groups. "It just brings so much credibility to the university and the string program," said Wayne Huber, music faculty and humanities division chair.
"Many say that the greatest Western music composed is for string quartets," Wulfhorst added.
This year's musicians are Vanessa Ronk and Tiffany Nyberg, both violin; Tori Trefzger, viola; and Bryan Taylor, cello. Their repertoire will include classical as well as lighter music. "Everything from Haydn to the Beatles," Wulfhorst said.
The schedule includes one formal concert each semester, plus performances at university events. In the works are appearances on Valley Public Radio KVPR and in other venues. "My ultimate goal is to have the quartet go out into schools and attract people to apply to Fresno Pacific," Wulfhorst said.
Currently a cellist with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Fresno Grand Opera, Wulfhorst has been a member of the Monterey Symphony and Gold Country Chamber Orchestra and appeared with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles in the United States, Japan and Germany. He has been an assistant professor of strings at California State University, Fresno; interim assistant professor of violoncello at the University of Southern Mississippi; and assistant professor of music at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Wulfhorst's doctorate of musical arts and master's of music are from the University of Maryland. He has an undergraduate degree from Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater in his native Germany.
In addition to leading the string quartet, Wulfhorst will teach music history and research, cello performance and direct Musica Pacifica Baroque Orchestra, FPU's chamber ensemble of strings, winds and harpsichord.
FPU is really behind the string quartet, according to Wulfhorst, who hopes the effort will encourage more chamber ensembles. "I just wake up in the morning and I can't believe the kind of commitment the university made," he said. "It's just spectacular."