Family – Rated R for Two Violins, Viola, Cello, and Piano

1999 | 13 minutes 30 seconds

Contact for score and parts.


With Animated Film by Pell Osborn


Program Note

Family – Rated R was commissioned and premiered in 1999 by the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra and featured as soloists the Charness Family Quintet (a flutist mother, a pianist father, two violinists, ages 9 and 14, and a cellist, age 12), and was later re-orchestrated for piano and string quartet. As a chamber work, the piece has been performed numerous times in Boston, as well as at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, and in St. Petersburg, Russia, by John McDonald and the Arden String Quartet.

Why Family – Rated R? I have yet to meet a family “Rated G.” More importantly, “Rated R” means that you need to be accompanied by an adult until you are 18, and that is, essentially, what family is supposed to be—a kind of support system that facilitates your gradual entering into the complexities of a larger (at times threatening and alienating) world. And if all goes well, you ultimately become a productive and responsible part of that world and work to make it more whole. Any family or extended family strives to do this, including, I believe, the community at large.

— Howard Frazin

Select Performances

Wheaton College 2nd Annual New Music Festival

Cole Memorial Chapel
Norton, MA
April 6, 2011

Aurea Ensemble
Guy Urban, piano

St. Botolph Club

Boston, MA
May 18, 2005

Quartet X
John McDonald, piano

Composers in Red Sneakers

Pickman Hall
Cambridge, MA
October 5, 2004

Arden String Quartet
John McDonald, piano
With animated film by Pell Osborn

St. Petersburg Spring Festival

Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory
St. Petersburg, Russia
May 23, 2002

Arden String Quartet
John McDonald, piano

Tufts University

Alumnae Hall
Medford, MA
May 15, 2002

Arden String Quartet
John McDonald, piano

Longy SeptemberFest

Pickman Hall
Cambridge, MA
September 9, 2001

Olga Polonsky, vioin
John Holland, violins
Dimitar Petkov, viola
Laurence Picard, cello
Yuko Shinohara, piano

Banff Centre

Alberta, Canada
August 9, 2001

Andrea Neumann, violin
Alison Thompson, violin
Anita Dusevic, viola
Jenny Yoon, cello
Barbara Podgurski, piano

Longy Faculty Artist Series

Pickman Hall
Cambridge, MA
December 6, 2000

Rohan Gregory, violin
Mirabai Weismehl, violin
Scott Woolweaver, viola
Rafael Popper-Keizer cello
Laura Kennedy, piano

Longy Composition Faculty Showcase

Pickman Hall, Cambridge, MA
February 8, 2000

Arden String Quartet
Laura Kennedy, piano

Composers in Red Sneakers (Premiere)

Pickman Hall
Cambridge, MA
December 11, 1999

Arden String Quartet
Laura Kennedy, piano