For classical music lovers, the string quartet is the pinnacle of the repertoire. This week, three outstanding young quartets are finalists in the first Joan and Daniel Rutenberg Chamber Music Competition and Festival, being put on by the University of South Florida School of Music. All three groups are giving concerts tonight.
The Cecilia String Quartet, pictured here, performs at 7:30 p.m. at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, 3501 W San Jose St., Tampa. The Tasman String Quartet plays at 7:30 p.m. at Puckett Auditorium, Florida College, 119 N Glen Arven Ave., Temple Terrace. The Hausmann String Quartet plays at 8 p.m. at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church, 420 Bullard Parkway.
Under rules of the competition, their programs will include works from classical, romantic and modern eras. They are playing for $9,500 in prize money.
The festival and competition, which continues through Sunday, includes concerts by USF faculty and students, lecture-presentations and master classes. The two rounds of the competition in which the quartets play for judges take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday and from 12 to 3 p.m. Saturday at USF's recital hall and are open to the public. The winning quartet will play a concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at the recital hall. For the complete schedule, see the Web site at music.arts.usf.edu/rutenberg.