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The Hutchins Consort

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Hutchins Consort to Play at Bryant University

Ensemble Celebrates 100th Birthday of Famed Violin Maker.

Smithfield, RI, October 15, 2011 --( The famed violinmaker Carleen Maley Hutchins (May 24, 1911-August 7, 2009) was called the “female Stradivari” by her mentor Harvard physicist Frederick A. Saunders. Her contribution stems from her efforts to harvest technology to improve on the centuries old string instruments and her invention of a new “family” of musical instruments to give new expression to music both ancient and modern.

The Hutchins Consort of San Diego, CA—the only ensemble named for an American luthier and the only ensemble in the world that performs on a Hutchins Violin Octet. The Hutchins Consort will embark on its East Coast Tour in October, to honor of the 100th Anniversary of Hutchins’ birth.

The octet will perform Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Janikes Auditorium at Bryant University. Tickets for the concert, part of the President's Cultural Series, are $10 general admission ($5 for Bryant alumni if purchased in advance). Smithfield residents can get two free tickets; additional tickets are $5 each. For information or to reserve tickets, call (401) 531-6661. Tickets for Bryant students, faculty and staff are free and may be picked up at the Bryant Center during business hours. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $10 each.

The Hutchins Consort performs a wide repertoire ranging from Medieval, Baroque and Renaissance to jazz, blues and modern, including new works written specifically for these instruments. The Consort is used to performing for audiences of all ages and tastes, and also shines in their concerts for young audiences, as they are very familiar with performing in educational settings.

Hutchins was a most unlikely pioneer—a biologist and trumpet player who taught herself acoustical physics by making violins. Hutchins and Saunders performed more than 100 acoustical experiments on violas and violins made by Hutchins. Hutchins eventually created a louder, more resonant violin via plate tuning and modal analysis. In addition, Hutchins created a forum for an international community devoted to violin acoustics through the Catgut Acoustical Society and its scientific journal that she published for more than thirty years.

Despite the fact that she was a lone female in two male-dominated fields of acoustical physics and violinmaking, Hutchins was the only woman to be awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Acoustical Society of America – whose very short list of recipients includes Thomas Edison. Hutchins was also the recipient of four honorary doctorates, a Guggenheim Fellowship and was considered the foremost authority on violin acoustics. From 2002 to 2003, Mrs. Hutchins’s octet was the subject of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Titled “The New Violin Family: Augmenting the String Section.”

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The Hutchins Consort
W.C. Watkins

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