Quadra Cultural Events will present the Rolston String Quartet on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Quadra Community Centre. Photo contributed

Quadra Island to get a taste of musical excellence

First international ensemble chosen for the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America

With their debut recording scheduled for release in November 2019, Canada’s Rolston String Quartet continue to receive acclamation and recognition for their musical excellence.

And Quadra Island and area residents will get a chance to hear the quartet when Quadra Cultural Events present them on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 at the Quadra Community Centre.

As the 2018 recipient and first international ensemble chosen for the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America, their accolades and awards precede them. In 2016, a monumental year, they won First Prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC), Grand Prize of the 31st Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, and Astral’s National Auditions. That same year, they were also prizewinners at the 2016 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition and the inaugural M-Prize competition. There is no wonder they were named among CBC Radio’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2016.

In the 2017-18 season, they tipped the 100-concert milestone with performances throughout Canada, United States, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Israel. Highlights included the Smithsonian, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Koerner Hall, and the Esterhazy Palace. An even busier 2018-19 season included debut performances at Carnegie Hall in New York and Wigmore Hall in London, as well as performances at Freer Gallery, Chamber Music Houston, two major tours in Canada under the Prairie Debut and Debut Atlantic touring networks, and three European tours with dates in Leipzig, Berlin, Lucerne, Heidelberg, Barcelona, Graz, and other centres. As Ludwig van Toronto states, “they performed with a maturity and cohesion rivaling the best string quartets in the world.”

Rolston String Quartet completed a two-year term as the Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence in spring 2019. They have also served as the graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and have participated in residencies and fellowships at the Académie musicale de Villecroze, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre, McGill International String Quartet Academy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival.

Luri Lee (violin), Emily Kruspe (violin), Hezekiah Leung (viola) and Jonathan Lo (cello) will be performing music written by Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Schubert. As well, they will perform a special work written by Dr. Eugene Astapov, one of the brightest young voices of Canadian new music.

“My latest work for string quartet, Beacon, was commissioned by Rolston String Quartet and it is a piece that has been conceptualized over the course of the past several years,” Dr. Astapov said. “The work makes a statement on the current environmental crisis our planet is experiencing, and the main purpose of the musical narrative is to raise awareness of this issue.”

Advance tickets are available for $17 from Inspirations in Quathiaski Cove, Works of H’Art in Heriot Bay, The Music Plant in Campbell River and online at Tidemark Theatre. Tickets will be available at the door for $20. Students and children 16 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

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