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Woodwind Quintet, Avec le Bois, Shares Their Beautiful Music

Bonnie North, WUWM

A woodwind quintet graced our studios this week to perform two pieces, one by Adrien Barthe and another by Darius Milhaud. 

Despite the name “woodwind quintet,” the ensemble is actually made up of four woodwinds: flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon; and one brass instrument, the French horn.

Milwaukee’s Avec le Bois, which translates to “with the wood” from French, are five young women who all come to the ensemble while also pursuing other careers in music. The ensemble formed in December 2011 and most of the ensemble members knew each other from performing together in the Concord Chamber Orchestra and Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. They are thankful for the connections of social networking that helped rekindle those former friendships.

What the women find beautiful about performing in a woodwind quintet is that they get to hear each other’s colors because they are so exposed, not being able to hide behind other instruments. They also get the chance to have solos and to take more artistic leaps that they get to decide on, not relying on a conductor to choose and program the music.

Avec le Bois is comprised of Christina Beaupre on clarinet, Elsa Knysak on bassoon, Angela Crainz on flute, Rita Mitchell on oboe, and Allison Schweitzer on French horn.  The Milwaukee-based woodwind quintet performs a recital on Saturday June 21st at St. Casimir church in Riverwest.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.