The quartet in residence performs two recitals annually and has coachings at least twice per week with a rotating group drawn from Curtis’s renowned faculty, who carefully attend to the performance standards of the group. The ensemble is expected to perform in master classes for leading quartets and other artists who may visit Curtis. Quartet members participate in concerts of contemporary music with the Curtis
The quartet also participates in Curtis’s Community Artists Program, designing and implementing a unique performance project that combines artistry with invention, leadership with advocacy, and citizenship with community.
As mentoring is an important dimension of the quartet program, quartet members coach and perform with students who are part of the Young Artists Initiative (those of high school age and younger).
The Zorá String Quartet is in its second season as quartet in residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2016–17, the quartet debuted with Curtis on Tour, gave recitals in New York and Washington, D.C. on the Young Concert Artists Series, and performed throughout the U.S. In 2017–18 the ensemble tours the United States with clarinetist David Shifrin and tenor Dominic Armstrong as part of Curtis on Tour; debuts at London’s Wigmore Hall and Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and performs with violist Roberto Díaz and cellist Peter Wiley on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series.
The Zorá String Quartet won the grand prize and gold medal at the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; first prize and several concert prizes at the 2015 Young Concert Artists International Auditions; and the Coleman National Chamber Music Competition. In 2016 the quartet participated in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Encounters program, concluding with a performance at Alice Tully Hall, and appeared at Chamber Music Northwest and the Oregon Music Festival. The group has also participated in chamber music residencies at the Banff Centre (Canada); in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Connecticut); and in the Advanced Quartet Studies program of the Aspen Music Festival, where they worked intensively with Earl Carlyss, the Takács Quartet, the Pacifica Quartet, and the American String Quartet.
The Zorá String Quartet previously served as graduate quartet in residence at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, working with the Pacifica Quartet and Atar Arad. In 2014 the ensemble was string quartet in residence at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany. The name “Zorá,” means “sunrise” in Bulgarian. The quartet's members are violinists Dechopol Kowintaweewat and Hsuan-Hao Hsu, violist Pablo Muñoz Salido, and cellist Zizai Ning.
Curtis is grateful to the donors who provided generous funding to pilot the school's string quartet program: Henry Arnhold, Nina Baroness von Maltzahn, Bob and Gina Mundheim, and Phil and Eli Taylor.