Known for its eclectic programming, the group includes two visionary composers who have written and arranged a vast anthology of works that embraces virtually every known musical genre. All the music is either transcribed from standard repertoire or composed specifically for the Hutchins Octet to accommodate the unique sonic structure of these instruments. This collection gives the ensemble diversity in performance that few traditional groups can match and is key to their success in bridging the gap between classical music and pop culture.
The Hutchins Consort plays on the eight scaled violins designed and built by luthier Dr. Carleen Hutchins, whose research into the acoustic properties of string instruments resulted in an innovative process called free-plate tuning; a precise method of refining the top and back plates of a violin before it is assembled to bring it to peak acoustic performance. The fruits of her labor are the eight Hutchins violins, ranging in size from the 18.5-inch treble to the 7.2-foot contrabass. Like all violins, these instruments capture the emotional element of the music. But they have the additional advantage of being crafted as a complete set with the same harmonic DNA — giving them the ability to produce a unique array of sounds that add a new dimension to the works they perform.
Based in Southern California, the Hutchins Consort brings together a group of extraordinary players to tackle the challenge of adapting the techniques of traditional strings, as well as inventing new techniques, to master the instruments Dr. Hutchins created. This ensemble of gifted musicians redefines the customarily accepted perception of the chamber music concert with programs that combine great works of virtually every musical genre from the Renaissance to Rock. Their performances are virtuosic, uninhibited, sometimes improvisational and always entertaining. “…A refreshing departure from the typical chamber music performance.”