UMSL's Arianna String Quartet

This summer, the Arianna String Quartet spent three weeks teaching and performing in South Africa. Now back in the States, the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ resident quartet will revisit their trip to open its 2013-2014 season at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL.

The concert, titled “Out of Africa,” will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Touhill. It will showcase the works the Arianna performed during their recent South African tour including Quartet in F minor, Op. 80 by Felix Mendelssohn, Five elegies for string quartet by Arnold Van Wyk and Quartet in D minor, “Death and the Maiden,” by Franz Schubert.

The Arianna String Quartet includes violinists John McGrosso and Julia Sakharova, violist Joanna Mendoza and cellist Kurt Baldwin, all of whom are faculty members in the Department of Music at UMSL. 

The foursome’s stint in South Africa, their second, was made possible through UMSL’s Exchange Program in partnership with the university’s sister school, the University of Western Cape. As part of the trip, the Arianna helped to start a chamber music institute for young South African string quartets at the University of the Western Cape and visited several townships surrounding Cape Town to give performances and help with string instruction for students struggling against severe socio-economic challenges. The quartet also gave several high-profile public performances in Cape Town and at Stellenbosch University.

Tickets for “Out of Africa” are $25. They are on sale now at the Touhill ticket office; online at or by phone at 314-516-4949.

Media coverage:
“Cityscape” on St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz