Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

New Dane County Airport Exhibit Debuts March 1st

February 22, 2012
Brent S. McHenry 608-661-6442 or 608-575-6338


New Dane County Art Court Exhibit 
Live Music Marks The 100th Birthday of UW-Madison's Pro Arte String Quartet 

Madison, WI - The history of the University of Wisconsin’s Pro Arte String Quartet and the Wisconsin Idea, both of which turn a record-breaking 100 years old this year, will be told through a public exhibit beginning Thursday, March 1, in the entry lobby of the Dane County Regional Airport.

A free public opening reception, with light food and cash bar refreshments, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. that same night. Members of the quartet will be present to perform music and to meet the public.

The show, "Marooned in Madison: The Pro Arte Quartet Celebrates 100 Years," will run through Sept. 3. The display features music, photos, manuscripts, instruments, old and new recordings, and interactive technology. The show is free and open to the public at all times.

Organized by the Pro Arte Quartet’s Centennial Committee and the UW Tandem Press, the exhibit seeks to expose the unknown history of the pioneering string quartet, which came to Madison as artists-in-residence -- the first such affiliation in the world and a model for many later quartets -- after the quartet were exiled here during a concert tour because Hitler had invaded their native Belgium in 1940.

Since then, the Pro Arte Quartet has changed its members many times as it has carried the Wisconsin Idea of public benefit from academic research to Carnegie Hall and The White House as well as to concert halls, high schools and universities through Wisconsin, the Midwest, the U.S. and the world, including tours to Europe, Asia and South America.

The quartet is marking its centennial by commissioning, premiering and recording four new works by renowned American composers, and by offering a series of lectures, concerts and master classes that are all free and open to the public. For more information and a full schedule of events in late March and late April, visit

You probably know Samuel Barber’s famous "Adagio for Strings," especially from recent commemorations of 9/11. But you may not know that the Pro Arte Quartet gave the world premiere of that work in Rome in 1936, and has premiered more than a hundred other works. Come to the exhibit and find out about that and much more, including what string quartets have in common with Vitamin D in milk, Warfarin and stem cells.