Canada's Rolston String Quartet – Luri Lee (violin), Hezekiah Leung (viola), Jonathan Lo (cello), and new member as of spring 2018 Emily Kruspe (violin) – was formed in the summer of 2013 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity's Chamber Music Residency. They take their name from Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston, founder and longtime director of the Music and Sound Programs at the Banff Centre. The quartet’s honors include the 2018 Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America; the Astral Artists national auditions; prizes in the Banff, Bordeaux and Chamber Music Yellow Springs competitions; the University of Michigan’s M-Prize; and inclusion in CBC Radio’s 2016 list of “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30.”
On the heels of their Banff win in 2016, Rolston String Quartet immediately embarked upon the BISQC Winner’s Tour, taking them to Germany, Italy, Austria, Canada, and the United States. As Ludwig van Toronto states, “they performed with a maturity and cohesion rivaling the best string quartets in the world.” In the 2017-18 season, they tipped the 100-concert milestone with performances throughout Canada, the United States, Germany, Brussels, Italy, and Israel. Highlights of their 2018-19 season included debut performances at Carnegie Hall, The Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, London’s Wigmore Hall, and 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 centers.
The Rolston String Quartet’s debut CD, Souvenirs, was released in November 2019 on the Fuga Libera label; the all-Tchaikovsky album includes that composer’s String Quartet No. 1; a string quartet arrangement of The Children’s Album; and, in collaboration with violist Miguel da Silva and cellist Gary Hoffman, the string sextet Souvenir de Florence. The quartet’s 2019-20 concert season includes engagements at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, Texas Performing Arts (Austin, Texas), Chamber Music Northwest (Portland, Oregon), and Calgary Pro Musica; the chamber music societies of Detroit, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Vancouver; the Louvre Museum in Paris; and the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo, Belgium.
Rolston String Quartet began their two-year term as fellowship quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music in the fall of 2017. 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 Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival.
Notable collaborations include performances with renowned artists Andrés Díaz, Gilbert Kalish, Mark Morris, Arthur Rowe, Robert McDonald, Donald Palma, Jon Kimura Parker, and Miguel da Silva. Additionally, they have worked with songwriter Kishi Bashi and composers John Luther Adams and Brian Current. Primary mentors include the Brentano Quartet, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith. The quartet has received additional guidance from the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Barry Shiffman, Miguel da Silva, and Alastair Tait.
Luri Lee plays a Carlo Tononi violin, generously on loan from Shauna Rolston Shaw. Emily Kruspe plays a 1900 Stefano Scarampella violin, generously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. The Rolston String Quartet is endorsed by Jargar Strings of Denmark.
Rolston String Quartet is represented in the United States by New York-based Sciolino Artist Management.
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