Press Release

Strings for Peace at the Rothko Chapel

August 24, 2017

Strings for Peace at the Rothko Chapel

Celebrate International Day of Peace with music on Thursday, Sept. 21

HOUSTON – Aug. 24, 2017 – The Rothko Chapel is using the power of music to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace -- and to take a stand against recent events demonstrating hate. 

The Chapel is hosting a concert featuring Apollo Chamber Players, the award-winning Houston-based string quartet, for a performance at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, followed by a reception at the Rothko Chapel, located at 3900 Yupon.  

International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution and provides a globally shared date for people to commit to joining together in spite of differences to build a culture of peace. This year’s theme is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

The concert will feature music inspired by peace, reconciliation and human rights, including both older and newly commissioned works by world-renowned composers:

String Quartet No. 4 Obala (2016) by Alexandra du Bois

Written to reflect the Syrian refugee crisis, the piece is based on folk music from Croatia and Serbia. It was inspired and influenced by people displaced as a result of war and conflict, and aims to connect two previously conflict-ridden nations through their cultural and musical heritages.

Sorrow Song and Jubilee (2014) by Grammy-winning composer Libby Larsen

Based on the African-American spiritual, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” the piece is written in the style of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, who learned about and incorporated spirituals into his work during his time in the U.S. in the 1890s. It is largely inspired by the relationship between Dvorak and African-American composer Henry Thacker Burleigh.

String Quartet in E-flat Major (2017) by Malek Jandali

Apollo Chamber Players presented the world premiere of Jandali’s string quartet to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall in February. This performance will serve as the Houston premiere. Jandali incorporates centuries-old folk music from his home country into his works.

String Quartet No. 3 Mimisha (1985) by revered minimalist composer Philip Glass

Glass created the piece as part of the soundtrack for “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters,” a film about the life and work of Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor and director Yukio Mishima.

“Music has a way of stirring the soul like no other art form,” Apollo cofounding member Matthew Detrick said. “It’s a way to bridge differences and illuminate our shared humanity. This music is reacting to and inspired by events both tragic and celebratory.”

Apollo Chamber Players includes Anabel Ramirez, Matthew J. Detrick, Matthew Dudzik and Whitney Bullock. With work praised by Texas Standard as a “blend of old and new music is out of this world,” this nonprofit chamber music organization explores the folkloric and cultural influences found in classical music -- and challenges traditional notions of chamber music presentation and audience engagement. The group offers thematically programmed concerts, as well as educational, community and touring initiatives. The organization is also involved in the creation and commissioning of new music. Apollo tours nationally and internationally, with recent concerts at Carnegie Hall and in Havana, Cuba.

For more information about the Apollo Chamber Players, visit

For more information about the Rothko Chapel, including a complete calendar of upcoming programs and events, visit, or call 713-524-9839.


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