Arianna String Quartet to perform at Washington University April 9

Acclaimed ensemble to be joined by pianist Seth Carlin

St. Louis’ Arianna String Quartet, widely hailed as among the nation’s finest chamber ensembles, will be joined by renowned pianist Seth Carlin, professor of music in Arts & Sciences, for a concert of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Erno Dohnanyi (1877-1960) and Robert Schumann (1810-1856).

Seth Carlin

Seth Carlin

The performance is free and open to the public and begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the Formal Lounge of Washington University’s Danforth University Center. For more information, call (314) 935-5566 or email

The concert will open with Mozart’s Quartet in C Major, K. 465 (1785), popularly known as the “Dissonance Quartet.” The nickname refers to Mozart’s use of chromatic scale (which employs all 12 tones of the octave, as opposed to the seven tones used by major and minor scales) — a quality that set Mozart apart from his contemporaries and that anticipated music of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Next on the program is Dohnanyi’s String Quartet No. 3 (1927). Born in Hungary, the composer and pianist made his American debut in 1898 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, where he performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. He emigrated to the United States following World War II and taught at Florida State University until his death in 1960. His compositional style is notable for blending 19th century romanticism with unusual harmonies and electric energy.

Concluding the program will be Schumann’s sweeping Piano Quintet in Eb Major, Op. 44. Written in 1842, the piece is among the most famous and beloved piano quintets ever composed, its lovely melodies, dreamy textures and jubilant energy embodying Schumann’s most important musical traits.

The Arianna String Quartet was formed in 1992 and garnered national attention by winning the Grand Prize in the 1994 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition as well as First Prize in both the Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions. They have performed throughout the United States, Mexico, Japan, Canada and France, and in 1999 were Laureates in the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. The following year they were appointed company-in-residence at the University of Missouri—St. Louis, where several members serve on faculty.