By Randi Bjornstad

The Delgani String Quartet’s latest concert is a decided departure from what many might expect from the often classically oriented players.

This time around, their program is based on a work by composer George Crumb that reflected his reaction to the horrors of the Vietnam War. Crumb titled his composition Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land and created it as a parable of the then-contemporary world that still holds much the same realities today.

As Delgani describes it, the string quartet “transforms into an electrified string and percussion ensemble to perform this mystic work full of numerology, imaginative sounds, and supernatural voices.”

In creating the work, Crumb, who died in 2022 at age 92, borrowed melody from Franz Schubert’s Death and the Maiden quartet, took more than a year to compose the piece and inscribed the completed score with “Friday the 13th, March 1970.”

He was considered a definitely avant garde composer, incorporating many sounds normally not considered musical in his work, such as whispers, clicks, and hissing noises, even shouting. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1968 for his orchestral work, Echoes of Time and the River. He also wrote many vocal works, including hymns and folk songs, as well as the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.

This concert will be performed twice in Eugene, following appearances in Corvallis and Salem and preceding one in Portland. The Eugene performances also will be livestreamed.

Delgani String Quartet does George Crumb’s Black Angels

When and where:

  • Corvallis — 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, at First Presbyterian Church, 114 SW 8th St.
  • Salem — 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, 5090 Center Street NE
  • Eugene* — 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, at First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1390 Pearl St.
  • Eugene* — 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at First Church of Christ Scientist, 1390 Pearl St.
  • Portland — 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, at Lincoln Recital Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave.

*Performances also livestreamed

Tickets: $28 general admission, $5 students, free for ages 12 years and younger, available online at


Delgani String Quartet; left to right, Kimberlee Uwate, Anthea Kreston, Jannie Wei, Eric Alterman