The Arianna String Quartet, including (from left) violinist John McGrosso, violinist David Gillham, violist Joanna Mendoza and cellist Kurt Baldwin, will perform Friday at the Touhill at UMSL.

When the opportunity to perform with two members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented itself, the Arianna String Quartet jumped at the chance. Hence the new program and title, “ASQ: Plus Two,” for the Arianna String Quartet’s next concert at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The Arianna, the resident quartet at UMSL, will perform alongside violinist Lawrence Neuman and cellist Brant Taylor. Both musicians have ties to the St. Louis area and also have been in award-winning string quartets.

Collaborating with Neuman and Taylor allows the Arianna to perform three string sextets, creating “a highly unusual program, unlike anything our audience would be able to find anywhere else,” according to Arianna cellist Kurt Baldwin.

“ASQ: Plus Two” will include performances of Brahms’ String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 18, Brahms’ String Sextet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 36 and Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet in D minor, Op. 70 “Souvenir de Florence.” The concert will feature two intermissions with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages, brief introduction and remarks before each sextet performance and a post-concert reception.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has hailed this internationally acclaimed Arianna String Quartet – violinists John McGrosso and David Gillham, violist Joanna Mendoza and cellist Kurt Baldwin – as one of the cultural gems of the St. Louis region. In addition to their concert series in St. Louis at the Touhill, the Arianna routinely performs throughout the United States.

Tickets for “ASQ: Plus Two” are $33. They are on sale now at the Touhill Performing Arts Center Ticket Office; online at or by phone at 314-516-4949.

The Touhill’s ticket office is on UMSL’s North Campus, 1 University Blvd. in St. Louis County (63121).

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz