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Curtis Institute of Music Welcomes Viano String Quartet as New Quartet in Residence

The award-winning quartet enters Curtis in the 2021–22 school year through the Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program

Viano String QuartetPHILADELPHIA—April 26, 2021—The Curtis Institute of Music is excited to name the Viano String Quartet as its string quartet in residence for 2021–22. Recently added to the roster of Opus 3 Artists, the quartet comes to Curtis with an impressive list of accomplishments and experience, including top prizes at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2019 and a residency at the Colburn School which concludes later this year.

While at Curtis the Viano String Quartet will present recitals, perform with Ensemble 20/21 and Curtis on Tour, and participate in masterclasses with guest quartets and other visiting artists. Additional activities include the design and implementation of a unique performance project with Curtis’s Community Artists Program and mentorship of Curtis students who are part of the Young Artists Initiative (those of high school age and younger). The quartet will be closely mentored by major faculty, including the Dover Quartet, Curtis’s Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence and itself a graduate of the Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program.

“The four of us are thrilled to be moving to Philadelphia,” say the members of the quartet. “We look forward to immersing ourselves in Curtis’s exceptional community of musicians, colleagues, and mentors. We’re so grateful for the opportunity to work with the truly world-class members of the faculty, including the Dover Quartet, whom we’ve always looked up to.”

The Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program was established in 2013 and has graduated ensembles that are pursuing fast-rising and global careers and receiving accolades such as Grammy Award nominations, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, top prizes from the M Prize Competition and Astral Artist’s National Auditions, and recognition in the New York Times, among others. This is one of several professional bridge programs at Curtis designed to mentor musicians at the beginning of significant careers in the arts.

Praised for its “huge range of dynamics, massive sound and spontaneity” (American Record Guide), the Viano String Quartet is the first-prize winner of the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition. Formed in 2015 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where it serves as the inaugural ensemble in residence through the 2020–21 season, the quartet has performed in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Place Flagey, Izumi Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, and Segerstrom Center for the Arts. In addition to their role at Curtis, the quartet is in residence at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts through the 2022–23 season, part of the Banff competition prize.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Viano String Quartet has presented virtual and socially-distanced concerts for the Dallas Chamber Music Society, the Schneider Concerts at the New School, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Friends of Chamber Music of Troy, the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City, and the Banff Centre International String Quartet Festival, among others; and participated with the Calidore String Quartet in a film project called The Way Forward.

In 2019 the Viano String Quartet received the grand prize at the ENKOR International Music Competition and second prize at the Chamber Music in Yellow Springs Competition. Other honors include the silver medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2018; third prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017; and third prize, the Haydn Prize, and the Sidney Griller Award at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in 2018. The quartet has participated in Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the McGill International String Quartet Academy.

Committed to engaging with communities outside the concert hall, the Viano String Quartet has given presentations for school children and students of all ages in partnership with Northern Michigan University, Santa Monica Conservatory of Music, Colburn’s Musical Encounter program, and the Bellingham Festival of Music and Whatcom Symphony.

The name “Viano” was created to describe the four individual instruments in a string quartet, each beginning with the letter “v,” interacting, as a piano does, as one unified instrument. Learn more at VianoStringQuartet.com.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. For nearly a century Curtis has provided each member of its small student body with an unparalleled education alongside musical peers, distinguished by a “learn by doing” philosophy and personalized attention from a faculty that includes a high proportion of actively performing musicians. To ensure that admissions are based solely on artistic promise, Curtis makes an investment in each admitted student so that no tuition is charged for their studies. In a typical year, Curtis students hone their craft through more than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings in Philadelphia and around the world.

 

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