The concert will mark the premier performance of Serafin's new permanent violist, Esme Allen-Creighton, who holds bachelor's and master's of music degrees from the prestigious Juilliard School in New York.
Joining the Wilmington-based Quartet will be special guest pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion — a noted performer who serves as a piano professor and director of collaborative studies at the University of Memphis.
The event is part of The Arts at Trinity culture series hosted by the Parish.
Tugging at the heartstrings
The Quartet's repertoire will highlight a trio of stellar pieces by master composers, beginning with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Divertimento in D K.136 (I)," followed by Ludwig Beethoven's "Op. 74" and Erno Dohnanyi's "Piano Quintet in c minor Op. 1," the finale piece which will include pianist Asuncion.
Cellist Lawrence Stomberg is delighted Serafin will return to Trinity for its second straight season.
"It's a really great program of pieces," said Stomberg, a former resident of Pike Creek who moved to Wilmington last summer. "There's a lovely little piece by Mozart that he wrote when was only 16 years old."
Allen-Creighton, of Philadelphia, Pa., is only a teeny bit thrilled about the Quartet's program.
"Op. 74 is one of my all-time favorite pieces — ever, ever, ever, ever!" beamed the 28-year-old Allen-Creighton, the youngest member of Serafin. "It has this incredible build up and climax in one of the first movements that I would rate as one of the most exciting movements in all of Western classical music, in my opinion."
Stomberg, 44, also sang praises for "Op. 74". Describing the tune as "powerful, rhythmic and driving," he added the selection is commonly known as the "Harp," since it's arranged in such a way that the plucking of the strings during the first movement results in a sound that's reminiscent of a harp.
He also mentioned Beethoven wrote the piece during the middle period of his life, a glorious time in his career when he emerged as a "musical superstar."
Whereas the musical parts are fairly distributed between its performers in "Op. 74," the arrangement of Mozart's "Divertimento in D K.136 (I)" is like night and day. The piece is driven by the melodies of the first violinist (or the melodic leader of the quartet), while the supporting members pitch in adding more rhythm, energy and color to the tune, said Stomberg, who's an associate professor of violoncello at the University of Delaware.
The closing number for Serafin's concert, "Piano Quintet in c minor Op. 1," comes from Dohnanyi, a remarkable Hungarian composer. His piece offers "large sweeping gestures and lots of dramatic contrast," as well as imagery that's "larger than life," Stomberg said.
New kid on the block
Though she adds more showmanship to Serafin, Allen-Creighton believes there are other key qualities she adds to the Quartet.
"I think I bring a lot of energy, optimism and real idealism," said Allen-Creighton, a viola professor at the University of Delaware.
Serafin founder Kate Ransom agrees.
"Esme has brought a great sprit to the Quartet," said Ransom, of Bellefonte. "She is an exquisitely trained Juilliard musician and has boundless curiosity about how to get the music to speak to the listener."
Stomberg summed up his new colleague with three words, describing her as an "absolutely lovely person."
IF YOU GO
WHAT Serafin String Quartet in concert with special guest Victor Santiago Asuncion
WHEN 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20
WHERE Trinity Episcopal Parish, 1108 N. Adams St., Wilmington