Nicholas Tavani, violin
Rachel Shapiro, violin
Gregory Luce, viola
Alan Richardson, cello
Praised by Strad Magazine for their “high-octane” performance, the Aeolus Quartet is among the finest young string quartets performing today. Formed in 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, violinists Nicholas Tavani, and Rachel Shapiro, violist Gregory Luce, and cellist Alan Richardson have been awarded prizes at nearly every major competition in the United States and have performed across the globe. Luke Quinton of the Austin-American Statesman writes, “The Aeolus Quartet is a powerful and thoughtful group of young musicians who are plotting and ascending course….this vibrant group shows great promise.” Currently they are the graduate-quartet-in-residence at the Juilliard School.
The Aeolus Quartet won the grand prizes at the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and the 2011 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were awarded first prize at the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, a silver medal at the 2011 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and a bronze medal at the 2010 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in New England. The 16th Annual Austin Critics’ Table named the Aeolus Quartet their 2010-2011 “Best Ensemble.” The Aeolus Quartet has released two critically acclaimed albums of classical and contemporary works through the Longhorn/Naxos label. The CDs are available on iTunes, Amazon, and at major retailers worldwide.
The Quartet has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia in venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Reinberger Recital Hall at Severance Hall, Merkin Hall, The Library of Congress, Renwick Gallery, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.
Dedicated to bringing music into the community, the Aeolus Quartet has been widely recognized for their highly innovative and engaging outreach programs. The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association awarded the Aeolus their 2013 Educator Award in acknowledgment of the positive impact that their educational efforts have had in diverse communities. Additionally, they were awarded the 2012 Lad Prize, which culminated in large-scale community engagement work, performances in the Stanford area, and a masterclass residency at Stanford University.
The Aeolus Quartet has also served as teaching faculty at Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY), the Austin Chamber Music Workshop, and Da Camera of Houston’s Music Encounters Program. Working in collaboration with The University of Texas through the Rural Chamber Music Outreach Initiative, the Quartet has presented educational programs and performances in communities throughout the state of Texas.
The Aeolus Quartet has studied extensively with the Miró, Guarneri, and Juilliard Quartets. Other mentors include artists such as William Preucil, Peter Salaff, Donald Weilerstein, Itzhak Perlman, Gerhard Schulz, and Mark Steinberg. Members of the Quartet hold degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and The University of Texas at Austin, where they served as the first Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence.
The Quartet has toured the Midwest in conjunction with the Fischoff Competition, performed throughout the United States, had residencies in North Carolina and at the Austin Chamber Music Center’s Summer Festival, and performed multiple times on the Smithsonian Institute’s rare instrument collection.
The Quartet is named for the Greek god Aeolus, who governed the four winds. This idea of a single spirit uniting four individual forces serves as an inspiration to the members of the Aeolus Quartet as they pursue their art.