Mobile Chamber Music Society has brought some talented and lauded musicians to Mobile over the decades, but a note from one of their key members hints at a high-water mark this month.

“We have never had the prestigious Miró Quartet on our series before because, frankly, we could never afford them,” Daniel Silver wrote. “A combination of lucky travel schedules and a generous manager has made it possible to bring them here.”

The quartet’s members are instructors at the University of Texas’ Butler School of Music. Within the first five years of its 1995 founding, the quartet had won first prizes in every competition it entered and was the first ensemble to win the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Their tour circuit normally takes them through North America, Asia and Europe and to numerous esteemed festivals. They have collaborated with Joshua Bell, Midori, Eliot Fisk, Pinchas Zukerman and Jon Kimura Parker among others.

Their Sunday, Jan. 20, concert includes Schubert’s Quartettsatz in C Minor, Dvořák’s “Cypresses,” Wolf’s “Italian Serenade,” Puccini’s “I Crisantemi,” Michael Ippolito’s “Big Sky, Low Horizon” and Beethoven’s Quartet in F Minor and Grosse Fuge.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. in the recital hall of Laidlaw Performing Arts Center (5751 USA Drive S.) on the University of South Alabama campus. The chamber music website lists single tickets at $20, $10 for single student tickets.

Call 251-633-8840 or visit

Medical museum adds artwork

Local sculptor April Livingston was commissioned to create a trio of portraits for display at the Mobile Medical Museum (1664 Springhill Ave.), a group that tells the story of sometimes overlooked portions of our medical history. The last of those is set to be unveiled on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The new cast-iron piece is titled “Motherwork,” a tribute to the crucial services provided by midwives through Alabama’s history. The work has eight pairs of life-size hands — each cast from an actual midwife or obstetrics nurse — clasped in a circular shape. Livingston made the sculpture curve outward when viewed from the side, reminiscent of a pregnant woman’s belly.

It will join sculptures of Poarch Creek Indian midwife and herbalist Bessie McGhee and Dr. James A. Franklin Sr., one of Mobile’s earliest and most renowned African-American physicians. They will be permanently installed in the museum’s Robert Thrower Medicinal Garden.

Livingston’s sculptures have been designated a bicentennial project by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. The creation of “Motherwork” has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The museum is in the Vincent-Doan House on the midtown campus of the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

Call 251-415-1109 or visit