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“Superb” early music ensemble Sarasa performs at Collection of Musical Instruments

Program of Vivaldi's Four Seasons interspersed with music of Telemann

sarasaThe Yale Collection of Musical Instruments will present the “all-star” (Boston Globe) early music ensemble Sarasa on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 3 pm. Led by artistic director and cellist Timothy Merton, a sextet will present a program centered around Vivaldi's Four Seasons interspersed with works by Telemann. The concert will take place in the intimate venue of the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, one of the foremost institutions of its kind.

The ensemble, praised for its “enormous vitality” (Boston Globe) and “informed and impassioned musicmaking” (St. Petersburg Times), performs concerts in conventional settings but also aims to bring music to those who have little access to it – including audiences in correctional facilities, homes for the elderly, and other institutions. A chamber music ensemble of variable size that draws on a diverse pool of superb musicians from the US, Europe, and Canada, Sarasa will be represented in this performance by Elizabeth Blumenstock, Sarah Darling, and Amie Weiss, violins; Jenny Stirling, viola; Timothy Merton, violoncello; and Charles Sherman, harpsichord.

Tickets are $20, $15 for Yale staff and seniors, $10 for students. For more information, visit the Collection’s website or call 203 432-0825.

About the ensemble

Sarasa was formed in response to a concert played by its founder, Timothy Merton, in the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in 1997, at the urging of a friend who was a prison volunteer. An inmate who heard that first concert remarked, “When art is well executed, it projects a message that transcends language, culture, and even aesthetic boundaries.” Sarasa took these words to heart and since then has been bringing high-quality music to those who ordinarily have little access to it. In addition to its public concerts, the ensemble plays in adult and adolescent correctional facilities, homes for the elderly, mental hospitals, and institutions for the disabled. Sarasa also does three-week residencies in grade schools, using drawing and writing to bring children to a meaningful understanding of classical music. The name “Sarasa” is derived