2017 Collegiate Division Semi-Finalists & Finalists
Semi-Finalists: Axiom Winds – Texas
Axiom Winds is a woodwind quintet group based in Houston, TX. They are comprised of students from the University of Houston. Axiom Winds contains different levels of performers from Bachelor of Music to Doctor of Musical Arts with a common goal; performing works that not only pushed them as musicians, but entertain their audience. With the guidance of Professor Melissa Suhr and Robert Atherholt, they have performed in venues like the Museum of Fine Arts.
Semi-Finalists: Cong Quartet – Indiana
Cong Quartet was a selected group in the Quartet Seminar at Indiana University and has worked closely with Pacifica Quartet the past two years. They shadowed members of the Arianna, Blair, Dover, Johannes and Pacifica Quartet in coaching younger string quartets in Madeline Island Chamber Music in summer 2016. Members of the quartet have collaborated with world-renowned artists such as Ying Quartet, Yuri Bashmet, Jorja Fleezanis, Joshua Bell, Glenn Dicterow and Eric Kim. They are also prizewinners of competitions including the Osaka International Music Competition, Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition and Generation Next Arts Competition.
Semi-Finalists & Finalists: Eos – Arizona
Tchaikovsky: String Sextet in D Minor, Op. 70 – IV. Allegro Vivace
Schimmel: Two Scenes from the Shrine of the Crossing of the Birds – II. Seated high upon a monstrous palanquin, a fierce warrior approaches
The Eos sextet is an exciting chamber ensemble devoted to expanding the possibilities of saxophone chamber music. By commissioning contemporary works from composers such as Gregory Wanamaker, Carl Schimmel, and David Dies, in addition to creating original arrangements of classic masterworks, Eos continues to build upon the rich tradition of saxophone chamber music in an innovative way. In November 2016, Eos was awarded first prize in the international Art of Chamber Music Competition. The members of the Eos sextet are students of Dr. Christopher Creviston at the Arizona State University School of Music, where they formed in 2016.
Semi-Finalists: Iizuna Quartet – New York
The Iizuna Quartet was founded in 2015 at the Eastman School of Music under the instruction of Chien-Kwan Lin and Jonathan Winteringham. Iizuna has performed a variety of both standard and contemporary repertoire for the saxophone quartet, as well as transcribed repertoire. Most recently, they were featured in the 2017 United States Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium College Quartet Series. Iizuna has also been featured in a composer forum led by Carolyn O’Brien, where they performed O’Brien’s “Thing Contained,” and has premiered works by Linda Joseph as part of Rochester’s Ad Hoc concert series.
Semi-Finalists & Finalists: invoke – Texas
Described by one pretty important radio guy as “not classical…but not not classical”, bowed and fretted string quartet, invoke, continues to successfully dodge every attempt at a genre classification. The multi-instrumental band’s style encompasses musical traditions from across America, woven together to create truly unique contemporary string quartet repertoire. Equally at home in a collaborative setting, invoke has performed with musicians from widely varying genres, from the Enso Quartet to chamber rock powerhouse Sam Fermin. invoke’s 2015 debut release “Souls in the Mud” features original works composed by and for the group.
Semi-Finalists & Finalists: KASA Quartet – Ohio
KASA is dedicated to the art, performance, and education of chamber music. KASA performs an array of musical styles ranging from classical to gypsy jazz and various genres in between. The group first realized their hybrid of interests collectively during summers of performing together at the Caroga Lake Music Festival, a yearly music festival in Upstate New York featuring some of the world’s leading young professional musicians. Stephanie and Kyle are siblings from Columbus, Ohio and were connected with Aaron Schwartz through their undergraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Andy Liang met Kyle at the Madeline Island Music Camp in the summer of 2013 and quickly became close friends. KASA looks to convey the magic of chamber music and the diverse possibilities of the quartet genre through engaging, memorable and free-spirited performances and education events.
Semi-Finalists: listen. a wind quintet – Texas
“listen. a wind quintet.” was formed by students at the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin in the Spring of 2016. Performing on many recitals within the Butler School, “listen.” is broadening its audience to the greater Austin area. They were recently headliners for Austin’s Classical Jams series, and are the resident wind quintet of the prismatix ensemble, an ensemble dedicated to presenting multi-sensory experiences that share the creation of art through various creative mediums.
Semi-Finalists: Michie String Quartet – Utah
As expectations continuously rise regarding the greatest masterpieces of the Western tradition, room is created for string quartets such as the Michie String Quartet, comprised of John Shin (violin), Serenity Embley (violin), Mallory Todd (viola), and Austin Packer (cello). Together, they continue to discover new sound fields and interpretations of the standard chamber music literature, as well as compositions outside the mainstream repertoire.
The Michie String Quartet is comprised of graduates from the University of Utah. A few notable achievements by the members include: receiving the Grand Prize award at the 1st Annual Utah Chamber Music Competition, performing with the Utah Symphony, winning the University of Utah and Weber State University Concerto Competitions, winning the Brevard Music Festival Concerto Competition, receiving the First Prize at the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Concerto Competition, and winning the Arapahoe Philharmonic Concerto Competition. Over the years, members of the Michie String Quartet have been consistently appearing and collaborating with many internationally acclaimed artists and studios around the world.
In the past, the Michie String Quartet had the honor of working with Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet, Hasse Borup, Gerald Elias, and the members of the Faure Quartet, Tokyo Quartet, Takacs Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Lark Quartet, Fry Street Quartet, Doric Quartet, Elias Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Kuss Quartet, Talich Quartet, Cypress Quartet, and the Tesla Quartet.
Semi-Finalists: ~Nois – Illinois
~Nois is a Chicago based saxophone quartet made up of graduate students at Northwestern University. Founded in September of 2016, ~Nois was recently awarded First Place in the 2016 Chicago Woodwind Ensemble Competition. Specializing in new music, ~Nois seeks to collaborate with living composers, championing their work through commissions and performances. ~Nois has two commission premieres slated for the 2017-2018 season and is looking forward to future collaborations. In April 2017, ~Nois will be presenting a Chicago area concert series with stops at local universities. ~Nois is coached by Taimur Sullivan.
Semi-Finalists & Finalist: Orphic Quartet – Texas
Formed in Fall 2016 at Stephen F. Austin State University, the Orphic Quartet under the direction of Dr. Nathan Nabb is comprised of Scott Augustine, Keaton Garrett, Laurette Roddin, and Matthew Castner. The quartet was selected as the winners of the MTNA Young Artist Chamber Division for the state of Texas and advanced to the regional competition. In January 2017, they were invited to perform in a masterclass for the Masato Kumoi Quartet at the Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium where they also gave a recital and worked with Joe Lulloff and Dr. Henning Schröder of the Capitol Quartet.
Semi-Finalists: Selah Trio – Texas
The Selah Trio was formed in 2015 at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin by Sunkyoung Park, piano; Douglas Kwon, violin; and Soohyun Juhn, cello. The Selah Trio was coached by Daniel Ching of the Miro Quartet and had privilege of working with Scott Yoo, the Eighth Blackbird ensemble, Anton Nel, and Tokyo String Quartet. They have appeared at Jessen Hall, Bates Hall, and McCullough Theatre. As far as public outreach programs, the Selah Trio participated in multiple times classes offered at UT Austin for both performance and lecture. During their collaboration over the past year, they have received much recognition and praise for their artistry.
Semi-Finalists & Finalist: Stentorian Quartet – Oklahoma
The Stentorian Quartet represents the University of Oklahoma and is coached by Dr. Jonathan Nichol. Stentorian Quartet is comprised of members from all over the country: first year masters student Evan Harris (Soprano), first year masters student Spiro Nicolas (Alto), senior Jacob Hewitt (Tenor), and second year masters student Tyler Bokman (Baritone). Although Stentorian has only been together a few months, they have given numerous public performances, been selected as winners of the State and Regional rounds of the 2016-2017 Music Teachers National Association Chamber Competition, and have been invited to compete in the National Round of the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Competition in Baltimore, Maryland in March 2017.
2017 Junior Division Semi-Finalists & Finalists
Semi-Finalists & Finalist: DAJJ Quartet – Ohio
The DAJJ Quartet formed in fall 2015 at Chamber Music Connection (CMC), a not-for-profit chamber music organization led by Artistic Director, Deborah Price. The DAJJ Quartet consists of Daniel Tai (14) and Anna Linder (13), violins, Jackson Tomsic (16), cello, and Julian Tugaoen (14), viola. The name DAJJ is a result of the combination of the first letters of each member’s first name. The DAJJ Quartet has had the opportunity to work with many guest artists at CMC such as Jinjoo Cho, Neave Trio, Dmitry Kouzov, Calidore, Dover, Formosa, Cavani, and KASA String Quartets. They have performed in side-by- side residencies at CMC with the Neave Trio, Dover, Calidore, and KASA Quartets. In 2016, DAJJ won the Honorable Mention at the MYA Discover National Chamber Music Competition held at Ravinia in Chicago and most recently won Honorable Mention at the 2017 Ohio String Teachers Association Chamber Music Competition held at Otterbein University. Daniel, Anna, Jackson, and Julian currently study with Jonquil Thoms, Paula Korak, Wendy Morton, and Deborah Price, respectively.
Semi-Finalists: Decorus Piano Trio – Ohio
Founded at the Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, OH, the Decorus Piano Trio formed in the fall of 2016. They won second place at the Ohio String Teachers’ Association Biennial Chamber Music Competition in 2017. Pianist Leon Durrenberger, violinist Daniel Woo, and cellist Anna Macintosh, as a trio has performed in masterclasses for the Telegraph, Formosa, and KASA String Quartets. Coaches include Artistic Director, Deborah Price, Assistant Artistic Director, Stephanie Price-Wong, along with various notable musicians in the Columbus area associated with CMC. The trio hopes to compete in other national competitions this year.
Semi-Finalists & Finalists: Geneva String Quartet – Ohio
The Geneva String Quartet was founded in the fall of 2016 at the Chamber Music Connection (CMC) in Worthington, OH. Coaches include Artistic Director, Deborah Price, Assistant Artistic Director, Stephanie Price-Wong, and a team of CMC’s associated faculty. Through CMC, they have performed in masterclasses for the KASA, Formosa, and Telegraph String Quartets, as well as for Jeffrey Irvine and Richard Marshall. They previously won first place at the Ohio String Teachers’ Association Biennial Chamber Music Competition in 2017. The group’s name comes from Geneva, Switzerland. In the summer of 2017, the quartet will travel to Switzerland with CMC to participate in a Study & Performance Abroad Program.
Semi-Finalists: Melomanus Quartet – Texas
Formed in September 2016, the Melomanus String Quartet is composed of Nick Hammel (violin), Sophie Ayer (violin/viola), Natalie Tobita (violin/viola), and Elaina Mosher (cello). Taken from Latin roots, the quartet name can be translated as “music lovers.” This quartet was formed by the Austin Chamber Music Center’s ChamberFlex program, and is currently coached by Daniel Ching, first violinist of the Miro Quartet.
Semi-Finalists: The Orpheus Piano Quartet – Missouri
The Orpheus Piano Quartet consists of violinist Hannah O’Brien, violist Jerome Eulentrop, cellist Anna Groesch, and pianist Michael Lu. Individually they have won numerous competitions and have appeared as concert soloists. They are members of the Preparatory Program of the Community Music School of Webster University, a chamber music based program for advanced students who intend to pursue music careers. Co-sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, quartet members are all participants in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. Great friendships lead to great music making; the OPQ is proof of that.
Semi-Finalists: Piccante Quartet – Texas
The Piccante Quartet formed in 2016 under the direction of Dr. Brad Smith at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The Quartet consists of violinists Miranda Hollingsworth and Nicholas Shaefer, violist Cristina Micci-Barreca, and cellist Nicholas Perkyns. Members of the quartet have performed as soloists with ensembles such as the Houston Civic Symphony and HSPVA Symphony, won seats in TMEA All-State Orchestras, and have studied at summer music festivals such as Le Domaine Forget and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. The Piccante Quartet has been named one of the 2017 Houston Young Artists winners.
Semi-Finalists: Quantum Quartet – Texas
Formed in the summer of 2016 in Carrollton, Texas, the Quantum Quartet consists of Bruce Moe, Ekdev Rajkitkul, Austin Dreyer, and Peyton Joffre. Members of the group have received many honors, including Texas All-State Band placement, selection to participate in the 2016 North American Saxophone Alliance High School Saxophone Ensemble, various top finishes in the Houston Underground Saxophone Competition (Junior Division and High School Division), and more. The Quantum Quartet is made up of members of the award winning Hebron High School Band.
Semi-Finalists & Finalists: Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet – Texas
The Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet formed in the winter of 2013 and has been a leading advocate and competitor in the chamber music community ever since. QNSQ has won prizes at the Coltman Chamber Music Competition (2nd prize 2015), the Houston Underground Saxophone Quartet Competition (3rd prize 2014, 1st prize 2016), Texas Public Radio’s “Sounds Like KPAC” Competition (1st prize 2015 and 2016), and was named a quarterfinalist in the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. In 2015 QNSQ performed as a feature group at the 69th annual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, premiering two new works for saxophone quartet.
Semi-Finalists: Sarian Trio – Texas
The Sarian Trio, composed of Richard Lai (piano), Anant Malpani (violin), and Satyavan Malpani (cello) have been playing together since 2012. They came together as they all loved classical music and enjoyed playing with their friends after school. Initially, they were coached by Elizabeth Fredrick and played at house concerts and in several area nursing homes. They named themselves Sarian, based on the first two letters of each of their first names. Subsequently, they became a part of the CHAMPS program, which is sponsored by Salon Concerts. Since then, Toby Blumenthal has been their guide and coach. This gave them the opportunity to perform at Salon Concerts, too.
Semi-Finalists: Stella String Quartet – Ohio
The Stella String Quartet is composed of violinists Clare Petrou Griffith and Portia Silver, cellist Avery Smith, and violist Maxim Estevez-Curtis. The group was formed in the spring of 2016 through Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, Ohio. During their time together, the Stella String Quartet has played in multiple CMC concerts, participated in the OSTA Chamber Music Competition, and performed at a pre-concert for the Formosa String Quartet. They have also performed in various master classes with professors such as Jeffrey Irvine and for members from Calidore, Cavani, Telegraph, KASA, and Formosa String Quartets.
Semi-Finalists & Finalists: Suavé Quartet – Ohio
The Suavé Quartet was formed in 2016 at the Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, Ohio and consists of violinists Allison Smith (junior) and Adryán Rojas (sophomore), violist Jonah Tugaoen (junior), and cellist Jinyoung Kwon (senior). Members of the Suavé Quartet have participated in competitions such as the OSTA Chamber Music Competition, the MYA Discover National Chamber Music Competition, and the Coltman Chamber Music Competition. The violinists, Adryán and Allison, were also part of the inaugural season of Encore Chamber Music’s summer string quartet intensive. Together, the Suavé Quartet has worked with Jeffrey Irvine, David Nesmith, Kyle Price and Stephanie Price-Wong of the KASA Quartet, and Artistic Director of Chamber Music Connection, Deborah Price. Through the Chamber Music Connection, members of the group have worked side-by-side with the Calidore, Cavani, Dover, and Jupiter Quartets.
Semi-Finalists: Westwood Quartet – Texas
The Westwood Quartet features violinists Margaret Seo and Ian Chiu, violist David Kim, and cellist Raymond Park. Margaret, Ian, and David have been playing together for two years under the CHAMPS program sponsored by the Salon Concerts. All four members are all in the Westwood Symphony Orchestra and have achieved numerous achievements and awards including the top chairs of the Region 26 Orchestra and placing in the All-State orchestras. Being chosen as the concertmaster and principles of multiple orchestras, the members of the Westwood Quartet strive to spread wonderful music in their community and hope that people will grow to appreciate classical music as much as they do.
Semi-Finalists & Finalists: Zorion Clarinet Quartet – Texas
The Zorion Clarinet Quartet is the premiere chamber ensemble at Spring High School, representing the highest level of musical achievement on their instruments. Members of the ensemble have advanced to the area level of the TMEA All-State audition process, and three were named members of the 2017 6A All-State Band. The ensemble was named Honorable Mention at the 2016 Coltman Chamber Competition, performed at the Music For All National Chamber Music Festival, and was featured as a demonstration ensemble for presentations at TMEA and The Midwest Clinic addressing the unparalleled benefits of Chamber Music to the development of students as musicians and responsible adults. In addition to their study in the Spring Band, members of the ensemble study privately with professional musicians from the Houston Area.