Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program
Quartet in residence: Zorá String Quartet
The Zorá String Quartet (violinists Dechopol Kowintaweewat and Seula Lee, violist Pablo Muñoz Salido, and cellist Zizai Ning) won the Grand Prize and Gold Medal of the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the 2015 Coleman National Chamber Music Competition in California, and the 2015 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, where they were also awarded the Sander Buchman Award, which provides major support for their New York debut, and five concert prizes. As a result of winning the Fischoff Competition, they toured the Midwest and appeared at the 2016 Emilia Romagna Festival in Italy.
During the 2016-2017 season, the Zorá gives its New York and Washington, DC recital debuts in the Young Concert Artists Series and performs throughout the U.S. at Chamber Music Wilmington, the Lied Center of Kansas, the Paramount Theatre, Rockefeller University, Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series, University of Florida Performing Arts, the Schneider Concert Series at the New School in New York, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Chamber Music International, and with Curtis on Tour.
The Quartet was selected to participate in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Encounters program in June 2016, which concludes with a performance at Alice Tully Hall. In the summer of 2016, the Zorá also appears at Chamber Music Northwest and the Oregon Music Festival, and last year, they participated in Chamber Music Residencies at the Banff Centre in Canada and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut. The ensemble also participated at the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies of the Aspen Music Festival in 2014, working intensively with Earl Carlyss, the Takács Quartet, the Pacifica Quartet, and the American String Quartet.
The Zorá collaborated with Pulitzer-Prize-winning American composer Caroline Shaw and the NOTUS Contemporary Ensemble in fall 2013. In spring 2014, the Quartet was selected as the string quartet in residence to perform and study manuscripts at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany.
The Zorá Quartet aspires to educate individual students, serve as mentors for collegiate-level string, and initiate outreach projects in Bloomington to introduce new audiences to chamber music. The Zorá has worked with the non-profit organization Reimagining Opera for Kids and performs at the Wylie House Museum, Waldron Arts Center, and the Art Museum of IU Bloomington to bridge the gap better with the local community.
The Quartet’s members earned prestigious Chamber Music Performer’s Diplomas from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and served as the Graduate Quartet in Residence at the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of the Pacifica Quartet and Atar Arad. The Zorá is Quartet in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music during the 2016-17 season.
The name “Zorá” was chosen by Bulgarian professor Kevork Mardirossian; it means "sunrise" in Bulgarian.
Curtis is grateful to the following donors who have provided generous funding to pilot the school's string quartet program: Henry Arnhold, Nina Baroness von Maltzahn, Bob and Guna Mundheim, and Phil and Eli Taylor.
About the string quartet program
The Curtis String Quartet Program admits young quartets of extraordinary promise who, at the time of their audition, have been formed for at least one year. Ensembles admitted into this two-year diploma program will consist of excellent musicians both individually and collectively, have clear aspirations for a career as a professional quartet, and demonstrate an affinity for Curtis’s “learn by doing” approach to artistic development.
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 will 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 will participate in concerts of contemporary music with the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble.
The quartet will also participate 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 will coach and perform with students who are part of the Young Artists Initiative (those of high school age and younger).