“It's unusual to hear music by someone who already has his own voice at age 25 and who also has the compositional skill to express that voice,” says Pacific Serenades Artistic Director Mark Carlson. Huh? How about Felix Mendelssohn, who was a prolific and shockingly mature composer at age 11 and wrote his greatest works before age 23? Or Franz Schubert, who in his 18th year composed nine church works, a symphony, and about 140 lieder? Or Frederic Chopin, who started composing his famous polonaises at age 7? And, of course, little Herr Mozart, where we won't even go. Okay, so they all died before age 40, which meant they had to start early, I guess. Anyway, Carlson is referring to talented young composer Jeff Kryka (pictured), first prize winner of the 2006 Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Competition and the youngest composer commissioned in Pacific Serenades' 24-year history. This week, in a concert titled To Youth! To Wisdom! , PS premieres the 25-year-old Kryka's Quintessence, a string quintet based, says the composer, on the ancient notion of the “ ‘fifth essence,' the purest, most rarefied element, of which the planets, sun, moon and stars were made. Naturally, I found the concept instantly appealing for the basis of a string quintet, because I always imagined the motion of celestial bodies to be something like a dance.” Also on the program: Brahms' String Quintet No. 1 in F major and selections from Bartok's 44 Duos for Two Violins. At a private home in Culver City; Sat., Jan. 30, 8 p.m.; $55. ALSO: Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena; Sun., Jan. 31, 4 p.m.; $32, $5 students. ALSO: UCLA Faculty Center, 405 N. Hilgard Ave., Wstwd.; Tues., Feb. 9, 8 p.m.; $32, $5 students. (213) 534-3434, pacser.org. –MarBeth Crain

Sat., Jan. 30, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 31, 4 p.m.; Tue., Feb. 9, 8 p.m., 2010

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