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Vera Quartet: a young string quartet on the rise

The award-winning Vera Quartet will perform Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. at the historic Saranac Methodist Church on Route 3 in Saranac. (Photo provided — Ryan Brandenberg)

SARANC — Since its formation in 2015, the Vera Quartet has quickly established itself as an exciting ensemble of its generation.

Grand Prize winners of the 2017 Plowman and 2017 Yellow Springs chamber music competitions, the Vera Quartet currently holds the position of String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

A 2018 winner of the Astral Foundation’s National Auditions, the Quartet also won Second Prize at the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition at the University of Michigan and the St. Lawrence Award at the Wigmore Hall String Quartet Competition in England.

The Vera Quartet was the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music from 2016 to 2018, under the mentorship of the Pacifica Quartet. They have held a residency at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, Germany, and were selected by NPR’s “Performance Today” as Young Artists in Residence.

With members hailing from Spain and the U.S., the ensemble shares a deep commitment to exploring and

programming the music of its roots, along with the great masterworks of the string quartet repertoire.

The Vera Quartet will perform Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. at the historic Saranac Methodist Church on Route 3 in Saranac. The program will feature Haydn’s String Quartet, op.76 no.1 in G major, Ravel’s String Quartet in F major, and selected movements from string quartets of Schubert, Beethovern, Schnittke and Auerbach.

Seating is open with a requested general donation of $15; special rates for students and seniors; children under 12 attend free. For further info, call 518-293-7613, e-mail hillholl@hughes.net or visit www.hillandhollowmusic.org.

More About the Vera Quartet

In 2017, the Vera Quartet took part in the Robert Mann String Quartet Seminar and the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar.

The Quartet also took part in the Chamber Music Residency program at the Banff Centre, and attended the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival, where they worked closely with composer Augusta Read Thomas and gave the Aspen premiere of her piece “Selene” for string quartet and percussion quartet.

In 2018, the Vera participated in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and for two consecutive summers, 2018-2019, participated in the McGill International String Quartet Academy.

In 2016, the Quartet made tours in South Korea and Spain. While serving as the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Musi,c they collaborated with the IU New Music Ensemble, performing with world-renowned pipa player Wu Man as part of the China Remixed Festival. They also partnered with the IU Latin American Music Center, furthering their mission of bringing the music of Latin American composers to audiences.

The Vera Quartet participated in outreach projects in the Bloomington, India area and beyond. They recorded pieces for talbum “Bloomingsongs,” produced by the Jacobs School of Music’s Musical Beginnings program for children, and have partnered with Bloomington’s Musical Arts Youth Organization to teach and coach chamber music with members of its youth orchestra.

The Vera Quartet has coached intensively with the Pacifica Quartet, and has worked with members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Brentano, St. Lawrence, Tokyo, American, Mendelssohn, and London-Haydn quartets, as well as with AtarArad, Mauricio Fuks, and Peter Stumpf.