Naxos to Release Serafin Quartet Recording of Higdon Works

Naxos will release the Serafin Quartet's next recording project featuring early chamber works by Jennifer Higdon. The project features Higdon's Sky Quartet (string quartet, 1997, rev 2001); Amazing Grace (originally written in 1998 for SATB choir and later adapted for string quartet by the composer); String Trio for violin, viola, cello (1988); Sonata for Viola and Piano (1990); and Dark Wood for violin, cello, bassoon and piano (2001). Pianist Charles Abramovic and bassoonist Eric Stomberg are the collaborative artists for this project.

The recording of these works will provide exposure to a broader scope of works by Jennifer Higdon and will help ensure that her excellent early works are not neglected. The new release will add to the discography of Higdon's works, helping to more fully inform the interested listener about the scope of her compositional development.

Serafin String Quartet, as an emerging ensemble recently initiated its discography and recording output with a debut release on the Centaur label in fall 2010. Their debut disc received high praise in Strad Magazine (December 2010) and American Record Guide (2011). Significant recording projects remain an important part of the Quartet's artistic activity. They aspire to present recorded material that reflects the quality of their own artistic output and their philosophical commitment to the works of living composers, as well as time-tested masterworks, through both performance and recording projects.

The collaboration between the performing artists and Jennifer Higdon was initiated in 2010, and the artists have played for the composer, receiving her favorable reaction. The first phase of recording has been initiated and plans are set to complete the project in early January 2012. The affinity of the Quartet for Higdon's works has been endorsed by the composer, indicating the likelihood that the recording will reflect a meaningful interpretation of the works.

Grammy award-winning composer, Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962 and presently based in Philadelphia) recently received the Pulitzer Prize for her Violin Concerto and is one of the most-performed living American composers working today. In addition to being a Grammy winner, she has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship and two awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Commissions have come from a wide range of performers: from the Philadelphia Orchestra to The President's Own Marine Band; from the Tokyo String Quartet to violinist Hilary Hahn and the new music ensemble, eighth blackbird. She makes her living from commissions and serves as composer-in-residence with various orchestras throughout the country.


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