Nathan Olson sounds a little sheepish when he explains where the name of his group, the Baumer String Quartet, comes from. "It's a reference to the movie The Royal Tenenbaums, which we share a particular affinity for," he says. "It's just a movie we happen to like, and somehow in the process of trying to figure out a good name, Baumer kind of stuck, and we've run with it."
The 2001 movie, a cult comic classic about a dysfunctional family, doesn't have much classical music in it — the soundtrack runs more to rock — but it does feature a temperamental former tennis star along the lines of John McEnroe or Bjorn Borg. And that's what appealed to the youthful quartet, made up of Olson and Aaron Requiro, violins; John T. Posadas, viola; and David Requiro, cello.
"All four of us enjoy playing tennis," says Olson, 25, co-concertmaster with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. "One of the things we'll be sure to do in Florida is hopefully get out there and play some tennis."
When they aren't on the court, the Baumers will be rehearsing and performing at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where they are the quartet in residence this week at the 2012 Rutenberg Chamber Music Festival. It's an opportunity for the group, formed when the members were students at the Cleveland Institute of Music, to continue a musical partnership that goes back, in the case of Olson and the Requiro brothers, to their middle school days growing up in Berkeley, Calif. Now they are all spread out to different parts of the country — Posadas, who teaches at the USF music school and plays in the Naples Philharmonic, is the Florida connection — but get together for festivals and other performances.
The Baumer Quartet will play works of Haydn, Brahms and Gershwin, plus a quartet by Minnesota composer Charles Krenner, at 7:30 p.m. Friday; and then be part of a collaborative concert Saturday night at 7:30 with students and faculty in works by Piazzolla, Schubert, Mendelssohn and others. (813) 974-2323; music.arts.usf.edu/rutemberg.
A trip to Broadway
• Three Broadway Tenors — Eddie Crader, Christoff Marse and Dale Badway — and pianist Ken Lundie give a pair of concerts this coming weekend. They all have extensive theatrical resumes, with credits bound to yield some fun anecdotes. Lundie, for instance, was musical supervisor of the legendary 1983 flop, Moose Murders. Badway has Broadway producer credits for The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and the Frank Wildhorn musical Bonnie & Clyde. The threesome performs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Murray Studio Theater at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $15, $25. (727) 791-7400; rutheckerdhall.com.
• At 2 p.m. Sunday, the University of Tampa concert artist series has its first performance of the season at Sykes Chapel, with Haig Mardirosian and Ryan Hebert playing the Dobson organ in works for organ and orchestra. The program includes organ concertos by Poulenc and Howard Hanson, Jean Langlais' Piece in Free Form and the Adagio of Albinoni. Free. Information: ut.edu/sykeschapel.
Mikhail Baryshnikov will be performing with the Mark Morris Dance Group, which headlines the Ringling International Arts Festival Oct. 10-13 in Sarasota. Baryshnikov, whose New York arts center co-produces the festival with the Ringling Museum of Art, will be in a new work by Morris, A Wooden Tree, to songs by Ivor Cutler, a Scottish storyteller (he played a bus conductor in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour). Baryshnikov, 64, danced at the festival in 2010. (941) 360-7399; ringlingartsfestival.org.
John Fleming can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8716.