Four musicians stand on a stage, with their string instruments

Faculty string quartet to perform: Faculty members from SIU Carbondale and Murray State University will perform Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship. Performing are (from left) violinist Frank Lakatos, violist Rossana Cauti, violinist Michael Barta and cellist William Cernota. (Photo provided)

December 05, 2023

SIU-Murray State faculty string quartet to perform Sunday

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A string quartet comprising faculty from Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Music and Murray State University will make its Carbondale debut with a performance on Sunday, Dec. 10.

SIU School of Music faculty Michael Barta, Rossana Cauti and William Cernota will be joined by Frank Lakatos, an SIU alumnus and MSU violin faculty member, for the 3 p.m. concert at Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 N. Parrish Lane. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. The performance is part of the Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society’s Winter Concert.

The quartet first performed in concert on Nov. 17 at Murray State University.

“After the performance,” Barta said, “it was as if we had been playing together for years.”

Violinist Barta is a professor of violin and chamber music at SIU. He has performed in 32 countries, including most of Europe, China and Japan, and regularly teaches master classes at conservatories throughout Europe. Co-founder of the Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, Barta is assistant concertmaster with the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra and concertmaster with the Sinfonia da Camera chamber orchestra at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois.

Violist Cauti is upper strings faculty director of strings orchestras at SIU. She is an active soloist, chamber musician and a dedicated and frequent orchestral performer, an assistant principal viola with the Pensacola Symphony and Northwest Florida Symphony orchestras. Chair of the Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, Cauti, who was born in Italy, studied with Barta, primarily on viola, while earning a Master of Music from SIU. She has toured Europe, Asia and South America with several orchestras, and is the executive and artistic director of Suoni d’ Abruzzo, the International Chamber Music Festival in Italy.

Cellist Cernota is an assistant lecturer in the School of Music. He has been a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra since 1982. From 1982 to 1996, he was a substitute cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  He has held principal cello positions and appeared as soloist with several orchestras in Chicago and the Southern Illinois Music Festival and performed in annual Chicago-based WFMT broadcast recitals with pianist Eric Weimer since 2011.

Lakatos studied with Barta from 2018 to 2022 and earned a Master of Music degree in violin performance from SIU. Both Lakatos and Barta are Hungarian by birth, and each emigrated to the United States in the 1980s. In addition to extensive orchestral experience as a violinist and violist, Lakatos is string professor and director of the Murray State University orchestra.