CIM Chamber Music Program Produces Two Winning Quartets

The Linden String Quartet won the coveted 2009 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition's Grand Prize and Gold Medal in the Senior String Division. Quartet members Sarah McElravy and Catherine Cosbey (violin students of Paul Kantor), Eric Wong (viola student of Lynne Ramsey) and cellist Felix Umansky (student of Desmond Hoebig) will also participate in a Winner's Tour of the Midwestern United States in October and participate in the Emilia Romanga Festival in Italy in 2010.

The quartet is coached by Peter Salaff, director of the chamber music program at CIM, and Annie Fullard, first violinist of the Cavani String Quartet, ensemble-in-residence at CIM. They have been appointed Apprentice Quartet at CIM for 2009- 2010 and will be quartet-in-residence for the Canton Symphony in the fall.

"The Linden Quartet plays with the kind of confidence, spirit and joy that is inspiring to all who hear them. They possess a natural sensitivity and warmth and of course, they are all such great people, it is incredibly fun to work with them," Fullard said. "My wonderful CIM colleagues and I celebrate and applaud their recent awards, and we are so thrilled that others will have the opportunity to experience their wonderful music making."

In its 36th year, the Fishchoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the world and attracts the finest young instrumentalists from across the country and around the globe. Over the course of three days, 48 ensembles representing 14 nationalities competed in 5 competition rounds.

In April, the Linden String Quartet was joined by their colleagues, the Aeolus Quartet, in winning the Coleman-Barstow Prize for Strings at the prestigious Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. The Aeolus Quartet (Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violins; Gregory Luce, viola and Alan Richardson, cello) is coached by Peter Salaff, William Preucil and the Cavani Quartet. "The work, commitment and dedication that the Aeolus and Linden Quartets have so diligently devoted to the art of quartet playing is inspiring," said Merry Peckham, cellist of the Cavani. "To know that their accomplishments in the name of great music making are being recognized and celebrated is rewarding and thrilling." The Aeolus Quartet has been appointed the first graduate quartet in residence at University of Texas's Butler School of Music. The program will involve extensive teaching and performing responsibilities, educational outreach to the Austin community, and intensive study with the Miró Quartet (alumni of CIM.) In addition, this summer they will be in residence at the Aspen Music Festival as part of the Center for Advanced String Quartet Studies.

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