Cyril Wang, violin (Chicago, IN)
Ursula Steele, violin (Chicago, IL)
Alaina Rea, viola (Orland Park, IL)
Joshua DeVries, cello (Chesterton, IN)
Formed in the summer of 2013, the Ligeia Quartet, Ursula Steele, violin; Cyril Wang, violin; Alaina Rea, violin; and Joshua DeVries, cello, soon put on a concert in Curtiss Hall in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, sponsored by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Their program, featuring the world premiere of Sprechstisambastimme by Michael Schelle, was an offshoot of the Citizen Musician community engagement initiative of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. “What makes [the Ligeia Quartet] unique is why and how they set out to do something more for the future of classical music... [they make music] not only for its aesthetic value, but also for its ability to inspire others by creating a shared experience.” (Jonathan McCormick, CSO’s Institute for Learning).
The Ligeia Quartet has participated in masterclasses with the Orion Ensemble, Kontras Quartet and Omer Quartet and is regularly coached by acclaimed violin soloist, chamber musician and teacher Minghuan Xu. Working with the acclaimed Orion Ensemble, the quartet participated in a mentoring program which culminated in a performance during the Ensemble’s fall concert at the Sherwood Community Music Center; “the Ligeia Quartet served up a buoyant and impressively polished account of Haydn’s quartet.” (Chicago Classical Review) In April, Ligeia will be a featured guest artist at Butler University in Indianapolis, working with string students, chamber groups, and student composers in live masterclass settings. The residency concludes with a concert featuring music by composition professor Michael Schelle and his students, including 5 world premieres. More recent performances include Bartok and Haydn on the webseries Fear No Art and a performance at the Chicago Youth Symphony’s annual Chamberpalooza at St. James Cathedral in Chicago.
Atara String Quartet
Hannah White, violin (Germantown, WI)
Karisa Chiu, violin (Palatine, IL)
Tess Krope, viola (Chicago, IL)
Krystian Chiu, cello (Wilmette IL)
Atara String Quartet is comprised of Hannah White and Karisa Chiu, violin; Tess Krope, viola; and Krystian Chiu, cello. All four students are Fellows at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, a pre-college training program for gifted musicians. Karisa Chiu is the recipient of the Rachel Barton Pine Scholarship and Hannah White is the recipient of the William Warfield Memorial Scholarship. The quartet is coached by artist faculty member Marko Dreher. Atara String Quartet is the first place winner of the Society of American Musicians 2014 Jules M. Laser Chamber Music Competition and has performed for Music in the Loft’s Young Artists Concert. They received honorable mention in the Midwest Young Artists 2014 Discover National Chamber Music Competition. Atara has also recently advanced to the junior division quarterfinal round of the 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in May. In addition, the members have individually won numerous competitions and prizes locally, regionally and nationally. A dedicated ensemble, Atara members and coach cross national and state borders weekly to practice. Atara is unique in that every member is a first generation American of mixed ethnicity—Hannah is African-American/Vietnamese, Karisa is Korean/Chinese, Tess is Caucasian/Korean, and Krystian is Korean/Chinese. This group represents the proud diversity crown of America and is fitting named “Atara” which means crown or royalty in Hebrew.
Luna String Quartet
Anna Humphrey, violin (Rogers, MN)
Emma Richman, violin (Minneapolis, MN)
Alexandra Sophocleus, viola (Minneapolis, MN)
Nora Doyle, cello (Minneapolis, MN)
The Luna String Quartet is one of Artaria Chamber Music School’s senior level string quartets, coached by Nancy Oliveros. The group had their first rehearsal on the night of a blue moon, August 31, 2012, and chose “luna” as their name. In September 2013 the Luna String Quartet was featured on National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” the preeminent showcase for young musicians hosted by pianist Christopher O’Riley. Last year they won the Silver Medal, the Haydn Prize and the audience award at the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition. They won first prize in the 2013 St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Youth Chamber Music Competition. They were also recorded by and featured on Classical Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), performing for a live broadcast at the Fitzgerald Theater as winners of MPR’s Minnesota Varsity Competition, winning the audience favorite and performing an encore. The “Lunatics” have performed in conjunction with concerts of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Bakken Trio, the Artaria String Quartet and the Young Musicians of Minnesota on behalf of the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra during their 16-month lockout. They have participated in master classes with Erin Keefe, concert-master of the Minnesota Orchestra, and members of the Elias String Quartet, the St. Lawrence Quartet, the Jasper Quartet and the Miro Quartet.