Pianist Aurelia Mika Chang was busy in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

A resident of New York City, Chang made sandwiches to help feed firefighters and other first responders in the aftermath of the collapse of the two World Trade Center towers.

Twelve years later, Chang and her fellow members of the Mondrian Ensemble, a quartet of musicians playing classical music, have not forgotten the attacks or their victims.

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Tonight, the group pays tribute to those who died with a special program of music at St. Brendan the Navigator church in Avalon.

The concert is the final performance in the Sam Maitin Summer Chamber Music Series presented by the group Access to Art.

The performance is the first time Access to Art has held an event to commemorate 9/11.

"I think it is good to honor the fallen. It's good to go back and remember the people who suffered during that episode," said Barbara Beitel, the group's founder and director.

Members of the ensemble suggested the concert honor the fallen after learning the date of the show, Beitel said.

Chang is a graduate of the Julliard School in New York and a long-time resident of the city.

"This is something they wanted to do," Beitel said. "Mika knew a lot of people who were harmed in the attack. She's lived there forever."

The group went through its repertoire and chose reflective music to mark the anniversary. The program includes Beethoven's Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. l6, and Schumann's Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 47.

The ensemble are no strangers to southern New Jersey. Beitel booked them as the first performers when she began the chamber series began in 1998, and they have returned to perform here both individually and as a group in subsequent years.

In addition to Chang, the ensemble includes Michael Ludwig on violin, John Koen on cello and Anna Marie Ahn Petersen, on viola.

Koen and Petersen are members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ludwig is concertmaster for Buffalo Philharmonic.

These other commitments limit the times the Mondrian Ensemble can play together, Beitel said.

"It's hard for them to get together. The Philadelphia Orchestra has a set schedule of events. The Buffalo Philharmonic has its season. I'm happy whenever I can get them all together," she said.

Contact Steven V. Cronin:


The Mondrian Ensemble

Performs 7 tonight at St. Brendan the Navigator, 5012 Dune Drive, Avalon. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors and students. Call 609-465-3963.


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