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Two times four

String quartet fans get to double their pleasure this weekend, with two intriguing concerts.

Tonight, the Slee Beethoven Quartet Series opens its 2008-09 season with a return appearance by the four siblings known as the Ying Quartet. The Yings like to push the envelope, playing jazz, new music, electronic music, you name it. Earlier this year, they came out with "Dim Sum," a Telarc disc of bite-sized pieces by Chinese-American composers. But tonight, the Yings are embracing tradition. On the program: Beethoven's Quartet in E Flat, Op. 127; Quartet in F, Op. 18 No. 1; and the "Razumovsky" Quartet in C, Op. 59 No. 3.

The weekend's second quartet concert happens Sunday, when the Friends of Vienna play host to the Philharmonic String Quartet. An all-star Buffalo ensemble, the Philharmonic String Quartet includes violinists Diana Sachs and Alan Ross, violist Natalie Piskorsky and cellist Feng Hew. Joined by pianist Al Frenning, they are playing Mozart's passionate Sonata in E Minor for violin and piano; Fritz Kreisler's arrangement of Schumann's Romanze in A; and Beethoven's Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132. The concert begins with the world premiere of "Aphrodite's Song," a piece for violin and piano by Buffalo composer and physician Michael Snyderman.

The Ying Quartet's Beethoven concert takes place at 8 tonight at Lippes Hall in Slee Hall on UB's North Campus. Admission is $12, $20 at the door. For info, call 645-2921.

The Philharmonic Quartet's concert takes place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Ave. Admission is $6, students $1; call 649-1743 or 837-3304.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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