The Arianna String Quartet

The Arianna String Quartet

The critically acclaimed Arianna String Quartet, the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ resident quartet, will perform four concerts for their 2009-10 season, each with a different theme.

The first night will explore rhythm. The second will be devoted to compositions by a trio of talented composers who were victims of the Holocaust. The third will include performances of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s complete Op. 18 quartets. The season will conclude with a concert featuring some of the best work by three of classical music’s greatest composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Bela Bartok and Robert Schumann.

The Arianna includes violinists John McGrosso and David Gillham, violist Joanna Mendoza and cellist Kurt Baldwin. All of the musicians also are faculty members at UMSL.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called the Arianna String Quartet “one of the region’s musical treasures” and St. Louis Magazine hailed the chamber ensemble, saying the group “represents some of the best music-making in the world.”

Formed in 1992, the Arianna String Quartet garnered national attention by winning the Grand Prize in the 1994 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and first prize in both the Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music competitions. They have since performed concerts throughout the world and have been heard on live national broadcasts in Japan, Canada and the United States.

They have given more than 700 educational outreach performances and won numerous awards. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch named the Arianna’s celebrated presentation of the complete Beethoven Quartet Cycle the “Outstanding Instrumental Achievement” for 2007. It was the first time the entire quartet cycle had been performed by an ensemble in St. Louis.

The Arianna String Quartet’s performance schedule for their forthcoming season includes the following concerts in the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL:

  • “Rhythmic Innovation” will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 11. General admission is $20. The Arianna will focus the concert on rhythm, one of the most subtle elements of a string quartet, albeit one that plays a crucial role. The quartet will perform Op. 20 No. 4 in D Major by Joseph Hadyn, Quartet No. 5 by Bela Bartok and F Major Viola Quintet by Johannes Brahms.
  • “Messages of Hope” will begin at 8 p.m. Nov. 6. General admission is $20. The Arianna is dedicating this concert to music by Erwin Schulhoff, Viktor Ullmann and Gideon Klein, whose lives were cut tragically short by horrific crimes of the Holocaust. The quartet will revitalize the profound work of these composers, whose compositions symbolize artist resistance and messages of hope.
  • “Revolution!” will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 20. General admission is $42. The Arianna String Quartet will guide the audience through Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Complete Op. 18 Quartets, a total of six works. The evening will begin with wine, cheese and a pre-show discussion with the quartet. Complimentary drinks, hors d’oeuvres and dessert will be served during intermissions.
  • “Triple Crown” will begin at 8 p.m. April 9. General admission is $20. The quartet will perform Quartet in Eb Major, K. 428 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Quartet No. 4 by Bela Bartok and Piano Quintet (with guest artist Chiharu Iinuma) by Robert Schumann. These works represent crowning achievements by three of classical music’s greatest composers.

    Call 314-516-4949 or visit for more information.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz