Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Three concerts set by locally based classical music ensemble

Critic At Large

Griffon String Quartet

Ensemble logo.

SISTER BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Midsummer’s Music’s quartet in residence, the Griffon String Quartet, will present three mid-October community outreach concerts in Northeastern Wisconsin.

According to a press release: The pay-what-you-can programs will feature Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “String Quartet No. 14 in G Major,” Caroline Shaw’s “Entr’acte” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major.”

The schedule:

+ Sturgeon Bay: 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at SWY231.

+ Green Bay: 2 p.m. Oct. 16 at First Presbyterian Church.

+ Sister Bay: 3 p.m. Oct. 17 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Concert reservations are recommended. Free tickets are available through the Midsummer’s Music website,

The Griffon String Quartet was formed in fall 2018 as a collaboration led by Midsummer’s Music. The quartet is a groundbreaking project to enrich the lives of children and adults throughout Northeastern Wisconsin through concerts, workshops and music education outreach.

Members include violinists Ji-Yeon Lee and Vinicius Sant’Ana, violist Blakeley Menghini and cellist Ryan Louie.

The musicians who have performed with orchestras and ensembles around the globe in halls from Carnegie Hall and Brazil’s Teatro Municipal de São Paulo to Ukraine’s Lviv Philharmonic Hall. Members have won prestigious music competitions and awards.

Each member has advanced degrees and significant professional experience, both as performers and educators.

About the program:

Mozart’s piece is the first of the “Haydn Quartets,” a set of six quartets honoring Joseph Haydn, who is generally viewed as the father of the string quartet form.

New York composer Caroline Shaw was trained primarily as a violinist from an early age. She wrote. “‘Entr’acte’ was written in 2011 after hearing the Brentano Quartet play Haydn’s ‘Op. 77 No. 2’ – with their spare and soulful shift to the D-flat major trio in the minuet. I love the way some music (like the minuets of Op. 77) suddenly takes you to the other side of Alice’s looking glass, in a kind of absurd, subtle, technicolor transition.”

Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major, Opus 127,” is the first of his legendary “late quartets,” six string quartets that comprise his final and perhaps greatest musical achievement.

Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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