Friday night concert series begins in Grafton

GRAFTON — The Grafton Community Church is proud to continue its summer concert series “Friday Night Musicales” on July 20 with “A Celebration of Chamber Music” featuring the Hilltop String Quartet.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and there is a suggested donation of $20.

The Hilltop String Quartet includes regional musicians Vicki Citron, Linda Hecker, Sonya Lawson, and Nancy Rich.

Each is a member of various regional orchestras: The Windham Orchestra, Sage City Orchestra, Pioneer Valley Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Commonwealth Opera, and Pan Opera, to name a few. Although they have been busy with all their symphonic duties, their love of chamber music led them to form a string quartet.

“The Hilltop String Quartet exemplifies the saying that a string quartet is like a conversation among friends,” Hecker said in a news release. “We are four teachers and enthusiastic chamber musicians who enjoy honing our musical expertise, talking, and eating together, in equal measure.”

The Grafton concert will feature chamber works by composers old and new. The concert will begin with a work by Einojuhani Rautavaara, who died in 2016 and was considered the most notable Finnish composer since Jean Sibelius.

The quartet will play The Bird (String Quartet No. 3) by Joseph Haydn, called by some the “Father of the String Quartet,” as well as the “Father of the Symphony.” The concert will conclude with Beethoven's String Quartet in E-flat, Op. 74, also known as “The Harp,” due to the extensive use of pizzicato (plucking of the strings) in the first movement.

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