Friction Quartet

Presented by Old First Concerts

Catch two mainstays of the string quartet repertoire reverently interpreted by Friction Quartet. Curated by Kevin Rogers, this concert presents two complex 20th century works that contain some of the most emotional and passionate passages of the whole quartet repertory along with two World Premieres featuring mezzo-soprano Melinda Martinez Becker.

Friction Quartet, whose performances have been called “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “stunningly passionate” (Calgary Herald) and “exquisitely skilled” (ZealNYC), exists to modernize the chamber music experience and expand the string quartet repertoire. Friction achieves its mission by commissioning new works, curating imaginative programs, collaborating with artists, and presenting interactive educational outreach. Joshua Kosman (San Francisco Chronicle) declared that Friction Quartet is “an artist who should be discovered” and described their performance as “high-octane music making … a fine blend of rhythmic ferocity and tonal flair.”

Mezzo-soprano Melinda Martinez Becker is a multi-faceted performer singing a diverse repertoire of baroque, contemporary classical, and experimental works. Her New Mexican and Jewish heritage shapes her career as a performer of art song in Spanish, Ladino, Yiddish and a variety of other languages. As a soloist and chamber musician, she is recognized for her interpretations of various styles of music: "Throughout the program, mezzo-soprano Becker effortlessly switched tracks, from light Baroque singing to all the various demands of the new works". (San Francisco Classical Voice) She is known for her "... notably expressive" vocal talents "particularly in light of all the styles she ha[s] to negotiate". (The Rehearsal Studio) In addition to performing throughout the Bay Area, she has performed in Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Austria, and France.

City: San Francisco
Price Range:
$25 in-person / by donation for livestream

Program Items

Alban Berg Lyric Suite
Leoš Janáček String Quartet No. 2, 'Intimate Letters'
Nicolás Lell Benavides Canto Caló
Raymundo Pérez y Soto, arr. Melinda Martinez Becker La Cigarra


Doug Machiz cello
Otis Harriel violin
Kevin Rogers violin
Rachyl Martinez viola
Melinda Martinez Becker mezzo-soprano

Old First Presbyterian Church

Old First Presbyterian Church

1751 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
United States