Release Date: June 10, 2016
Catalog #: NV6042
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
String Quartet

Fred Broer

Music For String Quartet and Piano Solo

Fred Broer composer

New England String Quartet | Julia Okrusko violin; Nelli Jabotinsky violin;
Lilit Muradyan viola; Ming-Hui Lin cello
Karolina Rojahn piano

Composer, author, and educator Fred Broer presents his String Quartet No. 8, as well as four colorful piano works, on his Navona release FRED BROER: MUSIC FOR STRING QUARTET AND PIANO SOLO.

Broer’s adventurous String Quartet No. 8 is performed masterfully by the New England String Quartet  and is dedicated to the memory of his good friend Hilda Ayer. The first movement “Impetuous” is characterized by a duality of character, with a capricious theme – first heard in the solo violin – opposing an orderly drumbeat ostinato, emerging throughout the movement in a series of dialogues and clashes. The second movement “Fleeting” opens with ethereal tremolos and trills and ambiguous harmonies. The uncertainty of the opening gradually shifts to a character of clarity and calmness expressed through harmonic simplicity. In the final movement “Very animated,” an energetic, stuttering theme is contrasted with a moody lyrical theme. Violent chords that recall the rhythm of the first movement’s drumbeat ostinato, a lyrical ascending chromatic passage, and a final energetic stutter finish the work.

Broer’s selection of Four Piano Pieces, as performed by Karolina Rojahn, showcases his skill in creating compelling musical moods and atmospheres. Piano Piece No. 2 undergoes abrupt and extreme changes of mood, from casual meandering to dramatic furor to dreamy simplicity. Piano Piece No. 6 is a playful scherzo, casting repetitive staccato motives against spritely interjections in the extreme registers of the piano, with a mischievous whirring theme at the piece’s beginning and end. In Piano Piece No. 5, a sparkling, driven theme is contrasted with a dense trudging theme in the piano’s lower register. A dark and mysterious theme takes center stage in Piano Piece No. 8, where it is contrasted with an agitated theme. At the piece’s end, a wispy ascending line washes away the dark theme and disappears into the distance.


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Artist Information

Fred Broer


Fred Broer (b.1942) is a native Oregonian. He received his Master of Music degree from Indiana University and his Doctorate from Boston University. Some of the composition teachers he studied with include Jack Goode, Bernard Heiden, and Joyce McKeel. He taught music in colleges for over 25 years, served in several churches as Music Director/Organist, performed as director of several community choruses, and was Director of the North Shore Conservatory of Music, a community music school at Endicott College in Beverly MA.

Karolina Rojahn


Karolina Rojahn is a Los Angeles based pianist who has dedicated the last decade of her career to premiering and recording contemporary music repertoire. She has premiered over a hundred new works and collaborated with various classical music labels, most notably Naxos, having released over 43 recordings of chamber and solo piano music, including 5 piano concertos written specifically for her.