Ciompi Quartet in performance at All Saints Episcopal Church, Southern Shores.

Live music is certainly an important part of the Outer Banks entertainment scene and the diversity of what is available is amazing for an area with a permanent population of less than 40,000.

This afternoon, Sunday, in a concert that would not appeal to the rock and roll set, the Ciompi Quartet performed at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores.

The Ciompi Quartet is made up of four music professors who teach at Duke University. 

Considered one of the elite US schools, it’s fitting that music professors from Duke would be among best of the best.

The performance was like a mini-tour of how string quartets have changed over time.

The first piece the quartet played was a Haydn composition. Often considered the father of the string quartet, Haydn was immensely popular throughout the second half of the 18th century (bloggers note: this was not my favorite piece.).

The quartet also played a Dvorak composition—19th century; a piece from British composer Benjamin Britten—20th century; and a challenging and extraordinary piece from North Carolina native Caroline Shaw composed in 2011.

Hearing music from each century gave a unique perspective on how composition has changed and how we have come to think about music over the years.

The concert was sponsored by the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series. The Bryan Cultural Series brings a wide variety of programs to the Outer Banks.

Coming later this spring will be Blackbeard’s Ghost and Queen Anne’s Revenge-A live radio broadcast, April 3. Their most ambitious project is bringing the NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players to First Flight High School for a Sunday performance of HMS Pinafore on May 7.