This week, composer Jesse Jones is visiting New Mexico for the first time since he left the state 19 years ago. From a composer’s perspective, the occasion for his return is triumphant indeed: the performance of a major work, his String Quartet No. 3, by the eminent Juilliard String Quartet, which commissioned the piece in 2012, premiered it this past fall, and is giving it widespread exposure through its national and international tours this season. On Sunday, March 16, the ensemble includes Jones’ composition, along with Schubert’s G-Major String Quartet (D.887) and excerpts from Bach’s The Art of Fugue, in its concert at the Simms Center for the Performing Arts at Albuquerque Academy.
Jones was born in 1978 in Flora Vista, a village in the Four Corners region, about midway between Farmington and Aztec. “At that time,” he recalled, “it was just a little river community on the Animas, with only a post office and a Circle K, but it was a special place to grow up. I spent a lot of time listening to the water rolling over the rocks. I could see Shiprock from my front porch, and I could watch violent thunderstorms roll in across the austere landscape and over Shiprock. I am so happy to be going back again to see old friends, the river, the mesa.”
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