Laser-sharp intensity and total commitment have gained the Verona a place atop the new generation of string quartets. Their program includes Beethoven’s Quartet in c-sharp minor, Op. 131, Shostakovich’s 7th string quartet, and Mozart’s C major Viola Quintet, K. 515.
Electric Earth Artistic Director Jonathan Bagg will join the Verona Quartet in Mozart’s magnificent quintet, a work written on a symphonic scale that has few equals among his compositions. This is matched by Beethoven’s equally stunning work, which was the last, and some say the greatest, of his many efforts to capture the profoundest musical ideas via the string quartet medium.
Recognized as “thoughtful, impressive musicians” (Cleveland Classical), the Verona Quartet is a winner of the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Competition, and in just three years, the ensemble has earned a stellar reputation for delivering a “sensational, powerhouse performance” (Classical Voice America) every time they take the stage. Musical America recently selected the group as “New Artists of the Month” for May 2016, further setting the Verona Quartet apart as one of the most compelling young quartets in chamber music.
This year the Verona Quartet has over 50 performances across the U.S., including: its Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall and the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at Long Island University; California concerts at La Jolla SummerFest, Pepperdine University Center for the Arts, and Chico Performances at CalState/Chico; Purdue Convocations (IN); Market Square Concerts (PA); and in Illinois at Rockford Coronado Concerts and the Dame Myra Hess Series (simulcast live on WFMT radio).
Also in 16-17, the Verona Quartet enjoys its second year as Graduate Resident String Quartet at The Juilliard School, where they work closely with members of the Juilliard String Quartet and also teach as Lisa Arnhold Fellows. Among numerous performances on behalf of Juilliard, the Quartet completes their residency with a May 2017 concert at Alice Tully Hall, as a follow-up to their successful Tully Hall debut a year earlier.
At the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Verona Quartet was awarded the BMI Commissioning Prize, resulting in a brand new work by American composer Michael Gilbertson to be premiered at the ensemble’s February 2017 Weill Hall concert. In addition, the group has recently garnered top prizes at numerous competitions worldwide: Abroad at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition (née London International String Quartet Competition) and the 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition; and in the US at the Coleman, Fischoff, and Chesapeake Chamber Music Competitions; and the M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition.
The Verona Quartet members are strong proponents of community engagement and education. From 2013-2015, the quartet established a relationship with the city of Danville, Illinois, where they curated a concert series and gave outreach performances and master classes across elementary, middle and high schools in the city, resulting in an increase in public school music class enrollment to almost double the average of the State of Illinois.
The Verona Quartet’s members hail from the USA, Canada and Singapore, and hold degrees from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Eastman School of Music. Originally founded as the Wasmuth Quartet in 2013, they were the inaugural Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at Indiana University, where they were mentored chiefly by the Pacifica Quartet, as well as Alexander Kerr, Atar Arad and Eric Kim. The Quartet has collaborated with artists such as Pedja Muzijevic, Jean-Michel Fonteneau and has worked with members of the Alban Berg, American, Brentano, Cavani, Cleveland, Fine Arts, Guarneri, Miami, Tokyo, Vermeer and London Haydn Quartets.