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Vitamin String Quartet captivates diverse audience

The+Vitamin+String+Quartet+performs+Bohemian+Rhapsody+by+Queen+at+The+Lincoln+Center+in+Fort+Collins+Feb.+6.
Collegian | Samantha Nordstrom
The Vitamin String Quartet performs “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen at The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins Feb. 6.

A crowd clapping and singing along to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is not what most would expect at a string quartet performance. Vitamin String Quartet‘s electrifying show at The Lincoln Center shattered expectations, transforming the evening into a multi-genre concert experience.

Vitamin String Quartet, a globally recognized string ensemble, performed at The Lincoln Center in partnership with Colorado State University the evening of Feb. 6. 

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Renowned for their unique renditions of popular music across various genres and decades, the quartet’s performance showcased covers ranging from Lil Nas X’s hits to classics like A-ha’s “Take On Me” and Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Their repertoire even included a string adaptation of the score from “Howl’s Moving Castle,” demonstrating their versatility and broad appeal.

“Once we are able to strip away whatever (the audience’s) anxiety is about seeing four string players on stage not playing classical music, once we are able to get that wall down, they always come alive.” –Derek Stein, Vitamin String Quartet cellist

The quartet’s diverse audience, spanning from children to older attendees, reflected the universal charm of their music. Intermission buzzed with enthusiasm as audience members of different generations shared their appreciation for both familiar and newly discovered songs. 

Notably, the VSQ vinyl record featuring covers of Taylor Swift’s songs was popular, with many attendees leaving with autographed copies in hand.

Having made appearances in Netflix’s “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” in addition to “Bridgerton,” Vitamin String Quartet also shared their rendition of “If I Ain’t Got You,” a featured song from “Queen Charlotte.”

After the performance, the quartet greeted audience members and autographed their new vinyl. 

Reflecting on their musical journey, quartet violinist Rachel Grace shared advice for aspiring musicians. 

“Go your own way,” Grace said. “Listen to yourself, and do what you love. If you want to go classical, go classical. If you want to incorporate some pop in there, do it. If you hear someone sing something beautiful and you want to play that, do it. The sky is the limit.”

The quartet’s engagement extended beyond the stage, as they conducted a master class at the University Center for the Arts to collaborate with students and share their expertise. Grace said despite initial nerves, the students found joy in the experience, highlighting the quartet’s ability to inspire aspiring musicians.

CSU student Ryleigh Becker and her mother, Amy Becker, witnessed the quartet live. 

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“We listen to their music on my Spotify,” Ryleigh Becker said. “It’s cool to hear it in person.”

Lauryn Simon is a senior who studies business management at CSU. As an employee at The Lincoln Center, she was able to experience the performance. 

I listen to a lot of different orchestras, and I think that they have definitely revolutionized the way people think about orchestra because they do more current songs,” Simon said. “It’s not just old symphony music and classical music like that sort of thing, but it’s geared more towards pop and younger audiences.”

Cellist Derek Stein, who has been playing the cello since he was 4 years old, encouraged aspiring string students to pursue their creativity as well.

“Practice as much as you can,” Stein said. “Find something in music that you are passionate about, and go for it. If someone tells you you’re not supposed to do that or that’s not the right music to play, do what you want to do, and don’t let anyone try to steer you in a direction you don’t want to go.” 

Vitamin String Quartet’s performance at The Lincoln Center was not only a concert but a celebration of musical innovation and creativity. Through their eclectic repertoire, the quartet continues to redefine the boundaries of string music, leaving a mark on audiences of all ages.

“Once we are able to strip away whatever (the audience’s) anxiety is about seeing four string players on stage not playing classical music, once we are able to get that wall down, they always come alive,” Stein said. 

Reach Kloe Brill at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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