The Weymouth Center’s Spring Classical Music Sundays series kicks off Sunday, April 10 with Aurora Musicalis, an all-female quartet of musicians from the North Carolina Symphony.
“We are celebrating our 29th anniversary season! says the group’s founder and cellist, Elizabeth Beilman. “We’ve been playing together for several years now, and our trust in each other continues to grow, and so the depth of our musical creation also continues to grow.”
Aurora Musicalis has performed statewide at venues including Duke University, Fearrington Village, Meredith College, and Chamber Music Raleigh.
“Weymouth Center remains one of our favorite places to play,” says Beilman. “We have lots of friends in Southern Pines and the Weymouth space is heaven for chamber music! From the beginning, we have researched and presented various instrument groups and played a colorful constellation of music. Our Sunday program will be no exception.
The program offers unexpected nuggets, such as the string quartet by Germaine Tailleferre, the only female member of Les Six (a group of 20th-century French composers, including Poulenc and Milhaud), who brings a strong influence from Ravel, one of her mentors. .
“We love to present a piece by a female composer, especially one who has blazed her own trail,” says violinist Emily Glover.
Additionally, the band will play Haydn’s Quinten Quartet, which Glover shared is particularly full of fun stops and starts and surprises.
“The Schumann Quartet is also full of surprises, with an opening that might make you wonder: ‘Is it Beethoven?’ And the vivacious William Grant Still is sure to inspire toe-tapping! Glover added.
Keen to perform in the intimate setting of Weymouth’s Great Room, particularly after the pandemic lockdown, violist Amy Mason says: “Our musical voices have simply had to wait, but while waiting to be heard, our artistic ideas continued to develop. Having the opportunity to learn the repertoire together and perform again as a quartet gave us the opportunity to re-immerse ourselves in a kind of energy and musical expression that had been dormant for far too long.
The all-female ensemble is positively impacted by how they relate to each other and influence the experiences and perspectives they bring to their musical creation.
“But the driving force behind our success,” said violinist Erin Zehngut, “is our deep respect for one another as musicians who, thankfully, also happen to be women.”
Classical Music Sundays take place in Weymouth’s Great Hall on Sunday April 10 at 2pm and are sponsored by Deirdre Newton, Martha Parsons and Jack and Claudie Wells. Tickets are supporters $25, general admission $35; and available at weymouthcenter.org/event-calendar. Weymouth Center is located at 555 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines.