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Verona Quartet Opens 2016-2017 Recital Series at Center for the Arts

The Pepperdine University Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts will open its 2016-2017 Recital Series with a performance by the versatile and dynamic Verona Quartet in Raitt Recital Hall on the Malibu campus[BROKEN LINK] on Sunday, October 23, at 2 PM.

The program will include Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 50, No.1; Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Op. 44, No. 2 in E minor; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet, Op. 59, No. 2 in E minor. The quartet features Jonathan Ong on violin, Dorothy Ro on violin, Abigail Rojansky on viola, and Warren Hagerty on cello.

The Verona Quartet is a winner of the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, following in a long line of successful CAG string quartets, such as the Alexander, Miami, Parker, and Pacifica Quartets. It was the Pacifica Quartet who mentored the Verona foursome when they formed in 2013 at Indiana University, and in less than three years, the Verona Quartet has set itself apart as one of the most compelling young quartets in chamber music.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, Verona Quartet was honored as the Graduate Resident String Quartet and Lisa Arnhold Fellows at The Juilliard School, where the group taught classes and worked closely with members of the Juilliard String Quartet. The Juilliard School presented the Verona Quartet’s Lincoln Center debut at Alice Tully Hall in May 2016. 

The Verona Quartet has performed across four continents in venues such as Wigmore Hall (London, U.K.), Izumi Hall (Osaka, Japan), the National Theatre (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.), the Melbourne Recital Hall (Melbourne, Australia), and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.). The group has also appeared on National Public Radio, The Weekly Special on PBS, and Abu Dhabi Classical FM.

At the 2015 CAG Competition, the Verona Quartet was also awarded the BMI Commissioning Prize, resulting in a brand new work to be written for the ensemble’s February 2017 concert on the CAG Winners’ Series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Additionally, the group has recently garnered top prizes at numerous competitions worldwide: Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition (née London International String Quartet Competition); Coleman Chamber Music Competition; Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition; Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition; and the 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.

In April 2015 they were quartet-in-residence at the Abu Dhabi Chamber Music Festival, which featured a multi-venue concert tour and collaborations with composers at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and local Emirati poets at Khalifa University. The Verona Quartet members are strong proponents of community engagement and education. 

From 2013 to 2015, the quartet established a relationship with the city of Danville, Illinois, where they curated a concert series and gave outreach performances and master classes across elementary, middle and high schools in the city, resulting in an increase in public school music class enrollment to almost double the average of the State of Illinois.

In summer 2016 the Quartet joined the faculty of the Indiana University Summer String Academy as Quartet-in-Residence. Previously, the ensemble has served as visiting artists and teachers at several leading international institutions for music education, including the Beethoven-Haus (Bonn, Germany), Oberlin Conservatory of Music, NYUAD, and the Summer String Academy at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

The Verona Quartet’s members hail from the United States, Canada, and Singapore, and hold degrees from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Eastman School of Music.

Originally known as the Wasmuth Quartet, they were the inaugural Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at Indiana University, where they were mentored chiefly by the Pacifica Quartet, Alexander Kerr, Atar Arad, and Eric Kim. The Quartet has collaborated with artists such as Pedja Muzijevic and Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and has worked with members of the Alban Berg, American, Brentano, Cavani, Cleveland, Fine Arts, Guarneri, Miami, Tokyo, Vermeer, and London Haydn Quartets.

The Recital Series at Pepperdine University has delighted audiences with new and emerging classical musicians since 1993. With intimate Sunday afternoon performances in Raitt Recital Hall, the series is nationally known for the high quality of its performances, the stunning location, the beautiful and acoustically superior venues, and the engagement and loyalty of its audience. Many of the featured artists have gone on to significant critical and professional acclaim, including cellist Johannes Moser, pianist Haochen Zhang, soprano Jessica Rivera, and cellist Alisa Weilerstein. 

Ticket prices range between $10 and $28 and are required for attendance. For additional information about the performance, and to purchase tickets, visit the Center for the Arts website.