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Hailed for "silken finesse and gritty vibrancy" by Gramophone Magazine and for "playing with style and sophistication" by The Strad Magazine, Serafin String Quartet debuted at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2004 and has consistently received superlatives in the press and ovations from audiences around the nation. The Quartet returns to Weill Recital Hall this season (March 2016) to perform the New York premieres of two works by composer Julia Adolphe, along with works by Grieg and Shostakovich.
Serafin String Quartet recordings on Naxos (2013) and Centaur (2010) have received overwhelming critical acclaim in Fanfare, The Strad, American Record Guide and Gramophone. The Quartet's Naxos world premiere recording featuring works by Jennifer Higdon was listed among the "Top Ten Classical Albums in 2013" in Philadelphia's City Paper. New York Concert Review lauds the Quartet's live performances for "ensemble and intonation ... above reproach," and describes their Debussy as "a shapely, finely conceived account" and their Haydn as having "rhythmic vitality and taut ensemble…"
The Quartet performs frequently around the United States and internationally. In June 2015, they opened the Highlands- Cashiers Chamber Music Festival (NC), with two performances including early classical "Americana" by composers of the Hudson River region. The Serafins joined flute duo ZAWA! for a performance of a new work by Cynthia Folio at the 2015 National Flute Convention (DC), and were selected to perform a special presentation at the 2015 American String Teachers Association National Conference (UT). Other recent performances include Philadelphia's Annenberg Center for the Arts, Chamber Music Now (PA), Classicopia (VT), Fanfare (LA), Delaware Chamber Music Festival, and St. John's Smith Square (United Kingdom). SSQ has been featured on WHYY-TV, and as repeat guests on WRTI radio's Crossover.
Featured by Strings Magazine for innovation in concert programming (July 2015), Serafin String Quartet designs a unique series of "collage concerts" which incorporate readings, mixed-media experiences and collaborative artists presented in intimate venues such as World Cafe Live (Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE) and at Kennett Flash (PA). The Quartet probes and performs the entire range of repertoire for string quartet, from Haydn to Higdon. They collaborate frequently with internationally acclaimed music performing artists, and with actors, dancers, poets, and experts in other fields. The individual members of the quartet have been heralded around the globe for concerts and recordings, acclaimed in the press, and received international prizes and awards.
As Quartet in Residence for the University of Delaware, and in visiting residencies at colleges, universities and high schools around the nation, the Serafins work with young musicians in a variety of settings including coaching, master classes, workshops, and "informances."
Reflecting the Quartet's egalitarian viewpoint, Serafin violinists share equally the responsibility for playing the first and second violin parts. Serafin String Quartet takes its name from master violin maker, Sanctus Serafin, who in 1728 crafted the violin currently played by Kate Ransom. The other members play Testore instruments from the same era, thanks to generous support from Dr. William Stegeman.
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