Kate Ransom, violin & artistic director
Eric Pritchard, violin
Hal Grossman, violin
Amadi Azikiwe, viola
Luke Fleming, viola
Charae Krueger, cello
Jacques-Pierre Malan, cello
Miles Brown, double bass
Marci Gurnow, clarinet
Augustine Mercante, countertenor
Eileen Grycky, flute
John David Smith, horn
Victor Asuncion, piano
Read Gainsford, piano
Gabriel Benton, harpsichord
Serafin Ensemble, “The Serafins,” is a group of internationally acclaimed performing artists (string, wind,
piano and vocalists) devoted to collaborative chamber music performances of repertoire for up to eight players.
The ensemble evolved from the former Serafin String Quartet and continues the nearly two-decade-long Serafin
legacy of passionate commitment to presenting exceptional performances of small ensemble repertoire.
Serafin Ensemble roster artists are devoted to collaborative chamber music performance as an important aspect
of their professional lives. They are bound together by mutual respect and camaraderie, and a shared passion for
small ensemble repertoire and the collaborative process. The goal of the ensemble is to prepare and share with
audiences, performances of great masterworks and lesser-known works for an unconducted ensemble of two to
eight players. Occasionally, larger works or solo works are also included in the programming.
The individual roster artists of Serafin Ensemble have been heralded around the globe for concerts and
recordings, acclaimed in the press, and received international prizes and awards. Their current and former
affiliations and distinctions are impressive and include: “official Steinway artist”; Fulbright scholar;
performances with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Alexander, Attacca, Oxford, Serafin and Vega
String Quartets, “Alarm Will Sound”, Boston Chamber Orchestra, I Musici de Montreal, Del’Arte Wind
Quintet; prizes from the London String Quartet Competition and Concert Artists Guild; participation in summer
programs such as Aspen, Aria, Banff, Brevard, Casals, Chatauqua, Ravinia, Spoleto and Tanglewood;
appearances on NPR’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday Morning, WQXR, WRTI, Radio France, and
National Radio of China; and degrees from major music schools including Juilliard, Peabody, Yale, Indiana,
New England and Boston Conservatories, Royal Academy of Music, Mannes, Michigan, Eastman, and the
Hailed for "silken finesse and gritty vibrancy" by Gramophone Magazine and for "playing with style and
sophistication" by The Strad Magazine, Serafin String Quartet debuted at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in
2004 and returned to Weill Recital Hall most recently in 2016 for a program that included New York premieres
of two works by composer Julia Adolphe. Featured by Strings Magazine for innovation in concert
programming, the Quartet consistently received superlatives in the press and ovations from audiences around
the nation. Serafin Quartet served for nine years as Quartet in Residence at the University of Delaware and
performed in the UK, as well as in fifteen states across the US, with their primary performance region being the
mid-Atlantic and northeast.
Serafin recordings on Naxos (2013) and Centaur (2010) have received overwhelming critical acclaim in
Fanfare, The Strad, American Record Guide and Gramophone. Their Naxos recording featuring the world
premiere of works by Jennifer Higdon was listed among the “Top Ten Classical Albums in 2013” in
Philadelphia’s City Paper. New York Concert Review lauds the Quartet’s live performances for "ensemble and
intonation ... above reproach,” and describes their Debussy as “a shapely, finely conceived account” and their
Haydn as having “rhythmic vitality and taut ensemble…”
Serafin Ensemble takes its name from master violin maker, Sanctus Serafin, who in 1728 crafted the violin
currently played by Serafin founder and Artistic Director, Kate Ransom. The Serafin String Quartet thrived for
over two decades thanks, in part, to generous support from Dr. William J. Stegeman, Ph.D.
Click here to download the Full Serafin Ensemble bio in PDF format.
Click here to download the Short Serafin Ensemble bio in PDF format.