Watch and Listen: Kate Ransom, Victor Asuncion, Augustine Mercante In The WRTI Performance Studio

Apr 8, 2019

In advance of the Serafin Summer Music program at the Music School of Delaware, WRTI welcomes violinist Kate Ransom, pianist Victor Asuncion, and countertenor Augustine Mercante for a live performance on WRTI 90.1.

Program:

A Chloris by Reynaldo Hahn for countertenor and piano (Augustine Mercante and Victor Asuncion)

Feux D'artifice by Claude Debussy for solo piano (Victor Asuncion)

"Allegretto poco mosso" from Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano by Cesar Franck (Kate Ransom and Victor Asuncion)  

Hailed in the New York Times for "impassioned" playing and "clear articulation and unity of purpose," violinist Kate Ransom is a distinguished chamber musician, recitalist and teacher who has presented hundreds of concerts in major chamber music concert halls in North America and Europe. Ms. Ransom is founding violinist of Serafin String Quartet, lauded by Gramophone and Fanfare Magazine for the 2013 Naxos release of early works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon and by The Strad Magazine and American Record Guide for the 2010 Centaur release. As founding and six-year member of the Alexander String Quartet, she received first prize and audience prize at the London String Quartet Competition and toured internationally. Devoted to organizational advancement in the arts, she has held executive positions at music schools since 1990 and is currently president of The Music School of Delaware. Ms. Ransom plays a violin made in 1728 by the Venetian master, Sanctus Serafin.

Lauded  by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” Filipino-American Steinway artist Victor Santiago Asuncion has appeared in concert halls in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Turkey and the USA, as a recitalist and concerto soloist.  He played his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Manila Chamber Orchestra, and his New York recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1999. In addition, he has worked with conductors including Sergio Esmilla, Enrique Batiz, Mei Ann Chen, Zeev Dorman, Arthur Weisberg, Corrick Brown, David Loebel, Leon Fleisher, Michael Stern, Jordan Tang, and Bobby McFerrin.  Mr. Asuncion is the Founder, and Artistic and Board Director of FilAm Music Foundation, a non-profit foundation that is dedicated to promoting Filipino classical musicians through scholarship, and performance.

Described by The New York Times as a "glowing countertenor", Augustine Mercante enjoys an active career performing repertoire from the Baroque to the newly-created.  This season he has enjoyed performances with the Serafin String Quartet, Kent Chamber Choir, The Arts at Trinity, Delaware Choral Arts, and Brandywine Baroque, as well as recitals in Washington, DC, New York, and throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware.  
 
Gus is a frequent soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble, with which he has toured Ireland, Spain, France and the United States, including his debut in New York’s Lincoln Center.  He works regularly with instrument maker and composer Aaron Grad and premiered Grad’s Old-Fashioned Love Songs for countertenor and electric theorbo, a performance praised by the Washington Post for "full-bodied sweetness, exemplary pitch, and a reliably musical imagination.” As a 2013 Vocal Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, his performance in the American premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin was described by the Wall Street Journal as "riveting" with a voice that "soared above the texture, lining the text with the haloed elegance of gold-leaf inscription". He is also a fellow of the Delaware Division of the Arts, most recently being awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship in 2013.