The inaugural concert of the new chamber music series Musaics of the Bay will include two works by Brahms, played by accomplished and rising instrumentalists, and one by Mozart – for which they’ll be joined by three students from San Rafael’s El Sistema program called ELM, Enriching Lives through Music. Artistic Director and founder Audrey Vardanega says her goal was to combine good music and mentorship.

There’s more information at the Musaics of the Bay website.

“Our two goals,” she says, “are to provide amazing chamber concerts to the Bay Area public, and also to mentor music students from local music programs, El Sistema programs, and I was really inspired to go in this direction because I’ve had amazing mentors growing up.” The musicians she’ll be playing with are violinist Nigel Armstrong, violist Gonzalo Martìn Rodriguez, and cellist Monica Scott. “I have a wide network of great friends who are very inspiring musicians, and eager to give back to the community, and so I figured this would be a great way to put them in direct contact with young music students, and kind of foster another generation of that mentorship which I benefitted from.” The concert will start with a Brahms violin sonata. “We decided to choose the Violin Sonata in A Major as a way for Nigel and I to play, and bring in the program, introduce the program with something very loving.” They’ll then play an arrangement of Mozart’s Flute Quartet that will have the ELM players sitting beside them, before ending with Brahms’ G minor quartet. “It was his first quartet, it’s around 40 minutes long, it’s like stepping into a monument. That’s what Monica said in rehearsal today, ‘We’re about to step into a monument.’” She was raised in the Bay Area, but she’s still splitting her time between here and New York, where she recently finished her Masters degree at the Mannes School of Music, and continues to take private lessons there with pianist Richard Goode. “I’m really excited to actually build a community that I can come back to here, and bring people to from around the world who I meet, and who I’m inspired by, so that we can share this great music with audiences and the students in the area.”