Lake Carmel Arts Center
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Kent Lakes, NY 10512

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Friends of Classical Music - The Crescent Quartet

Sunday, August 21, 2022 at 4:00 pm


Coming soon to Arts on the Lake

Dedicated to Midhat Serbagi

The Crescent String Quartet performs for the 3rd concert in this season’s Friends of Classical Music series. This remarkable group consists of notable musicians who have has been playing together in one form or another for over forty years. The program for the event is listed below.


At this performance we will be honoring Midhat Serbagi, remembering this remarkable character who was constantly surprising us with his musicianship, wit and verve. We have all been touched by the legacy he left us, The Friends of Classical Music.


Please join us for this event at Sedgewood Boathouse. We also ask that you donate generously to the Friends in his honor so we may continue to bring this wonderful music to our communities.


Address: Sedgewood Boathouse, located off of Route 301 at 1026 Barrett Circle West, Kent NY 10512.

The Crescent Quartet String Quartet

Nancy McAlhany - Violin

Yevgenia Strenger  -  Violin

Jill Jaffe - Viola

Maxine Neuman - Cello


About the Quartet:

The Crescent String Quartet made its debut on International Women’s Day March 8th, 1980, performing an entire program of music by women composers. At that time, this was a novel, almost radical action. Music by women composers had scarcely been heard in public. We felt that playing this music was important. Times have changed and are still changing. Clearly, we’re all becoming more integrated in, and fuller participants in a better, more equal world.



After our first concert we were immediately engaged to perform more concerts in Europe, and we continued to tour and concertize for a number of years in Europe and Mexico as well as in the U.S. Both violinists in the quartet always shared the 1st and 2nd violin roles. Our early programming was a mix of music by women (very often by living women composers who were present at the concerts) and more traditional classical string quartet repertoire. We are very proud of our early recordings, including historic premier recordings of the Amy Beach Quartet for String opus 89, Quartets of Ruth Schöntal, Tui St. George Tucker, Lucy Vellère and more. You can see and hear our quartet featured playing Mozart in Sylverter Stallone’s movie “Nighthawks”. The time pressures of our individual careers and raising families made it difficult to play together more. We did not choose the traditional life devoted exclusively to the quartet, we felt that would be too constricting, too cut off from the totality of all our musical interests and too demanding economically. Hence, for many years we have recorded, concertized and just played together for our love of music. String quartet repertoire is a fascinating and spectacular world. As in a small family, there are so many relationships to explore, so many conversations. In our program today, we visit the beginning of the life of the string quartet, among the earliest examples of the genre.



Our collective credits include performances and recordings with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, the NYC Ballet, the NYC Opera, Mostly Mozart, American Ballet Theatre, the NY Philharmonic, numerous Broadway shows, movie soundtracks and many artists including Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennet, Barbra Streisand, John Zorn, Phillip Glass, Roberto Benignini… Maxine continues to concertize in New York, Vermont and Europe and maintains a studio of students all over the world. Jill continues to concertize in New York, appears as the principal viola of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra and with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, composes music for theatre, film and dance, and has music directed on and off Broadway and for regional theatre. Nancy and Yevgenia continue to free-lance with the most prestigious New York based ensembles. Today is our 1st concert welcoming Yevgenia into the quartet.

The program:

Sonata in c minor for 2 violins, viola and basso
Johann Gottlieb Goldberg 1727 - 1756

- Bach dedicate his Goldberg Variations to this composer.


Quartet in G Major opus 64 #4

Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

- Haydn was known as the father of string quartet.


Quartet No. 16 opus 135 in F Major

Ludwig van Beethoven 1770 – 1827

- This was the final string quartet he wrote before his death.


About the Composers:


Johann Gottfried Goldberg (1727 - 1756) was a German virtuoso harpsichordist, organist and composer of the late Baroque and early Classical periods. At age 14, he was in the employ of Count Keyserling who was an insomniac. Johann was a student of J.S. Bach who in turn composed his Goldberg Variations for Johann to play to entertain the Count during his sleepless nights. Sadly, Goldberg died of tuberculosis at the age of 29.

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809) an Austrian composer of the Classical Period, was instrumental in the development of the string quartet, the piano trio and the symphony. For his contributions to these musical forms, he is considered the "Father of the Symphony” and "Father of the String Quartet”. Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family at their Castle. His music circulated widely, and for much of his career he was the most celebrated composer in Europe. He was a friend and mentor of Mozart, a tutor of Beethoven and the elder brother of composer Michael Haydn.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) was a German composer and pianist of the Classical and early Romantic periods whose music is among the most performed in the world. Throughout his tumultuous life, even through total deafness, his genius created music that inspires and touches our lives today. Beethoven’s string quartets are generally divided into 3 periods… early, middle and late. Opus 135, his final quartet, completed the year before his death, remains a contemporary work for the ages.