String Quartet Program
A top prizewinner in the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London, the Aizuri Quartet is the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music (learn more about the string quartet program). During the course of its residency, the quartet will appear in venues throughout Philadelphia, including Curtis’s Field Concert Hall, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and World Café Live, among others. In addition to working closely with the school’s renowned faculty, the Aizuri Quartet is featured in the Curtis-Coursera online course, The World of the String Quartet; and joins with cellist Peter Wiley in Curtis On Tour performances in New York, Boston, Paris, and Dresden.
The Aizuri Quartet’s members have studied at Curtis and the Juilliard School, and have participated in the Marlboro and Caramoor festivals as well as the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, where they were quartet in residence in 2014. They have won top prizes in the Primrose International Viola Competition and Astral Artists National Auditions; and have collaborated with renowned artists Pamela Frank, Miriam Fried, Richard Goode, Kim Kashkashian, and Mitsuko Uchida, among others. They have appeared throughout North America and Europe with a diverse range of ensembles, including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, A Far Cry, The Knights, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Symphony in C, Curtis On Tour, Musicians from Marlboro, Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and counter) induction.
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).