Moonlight Serenades

A mountaintop view of rolling hills, the nighttime sky bright with stars and the soothing sounds of a chamber music ensemble.

A plausible billing for Wednesday's installment of the "Season Under the Stars" concert series held at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley.

Atop the institute's 3,100-acre site lies a mountaintop courtyard that serves part time as an amphitheater, seating up to 600 patrons.

On Wednesday, the Brandeis-Bardin String Quartet, which includes members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, will fill the air with the works of Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and more at the sight.

"The caliber of the performers is wonderful," said David Low, who is cellist for the ensemble. "They are basically some of L.A.'s finest young musicians."

Besides Mendelssohn's D-Major Quartet and Shostakovich's String No. 8 Quartet, the evening will include works by 27-year-old composer Lucas Richman.

"The setting for this concert is just picture-postcard perfect," Low said.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Gates will open at 5 p.m., and guests are encouraged to bring sweaters and picnic snacks. Admission is $15. Reservations are encouraged.

The Season Under the Stars concert series continues July 28 with the Eastern European sounds of the Ellis Island Klezmer Band.

"Jewish Broadway" concludes the series Aug. 11, celebrating the contributions to the musical theater of Jewish composers and lyricists.

Brandeis-Bardin Institute is at 1101 N. Pepper Tree Lane, Simi Valley. For more information, call 526-1131.

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