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Benefiting beauty

The Ventana Quartet embraces all kinds of beauty -- not just music, but poetry and gardening. All of these arts overlap Sunday when the Buffalo-based quartet performs a concert to benefit the historic Japanese gardens at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

Shieh-Jian Tsai and Antoine Lefebvre are the Ventana Quartet's violinists, while Janz Castelo plays viola and Mary Artmann rounds out the group on cello. On Sunday, they'll be performing Maurice Ravel's "String Quartet," an early piece the composer dedicated to Gabriel Faure. Violist Kate Holzemer joins the group for Johannes Brahms' lush, romantic "String Quintet in F." In between, in the transcendent spirit of the Japanese garden, the musicians will perform "A Way a Lone," by the acclaimed Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.

The recital takes place at 3 p.m. Sunday at TruTeas and Insight Gallery, located in the Neighborhood Collective building on Elmwood Avenue. The program also features poems read by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Dennis. A donation of $15 is suggested. Tea will be served, and, as added incentive, the audience will enjoy refreshments by Kuni Sato. Until recently, Sato owned Kuni's Sushi Bar.

The group also presents the musical program at 7 p.m. today at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, in conjunction with the museum's Albert Einstein exhibit. Admission to the Karpeles performance is free.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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