Hugh A. Glauser's School of Music has the distinct pleasure of housing one of the country's foremost chamber foursomes â€“ The Miami String Quartet. The group was founded in 1988 at The New World School of the Arts by John de Lancie in Miami, Florida, and is now Quartet-in-Residence at Kent State University where all four accomplished members - Ivan Chan (Violin), Cathy Meng Robinson (Violin), Jin Yu (Viola) and Keith Robinson (Cello) - serve as faculty in the School of Music and for Kent Blossom Music, the school's summer music intensive.
Winners of numerous awards of excellence, the quartet has appeared extensively throughout the United States and Europe, including performances in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cologne, Istanbul, Lausanne, Montreal, Hong Kong, Taipei and Paris. The New York Times has written that the Miami String Quartet has "everything one wants in a quartet: a rich, precisely balanced sound, a broad coloristic palette, real unity of interpretive purpose and seemingly unflagging energy."
So when "chamber music royalty" Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio(KLR) approached the longtime friends and co-collaborators about commissioning a piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the Miami foursome immediately agreed. With little coaxing, Zwilich, the first woman ever to win the Pulitzer for composition, took on the unprecedented challenge of creating a piano septet incorporating piano, three violins, two cellos and viola and successfully composed The Septet for Piano Trio and String Quartet.
The Septet for Piano Trio and String Quartet premiered in April 2009 at the 92nd Street Y in New York. The Miami/KLR combo, one of a dozen co-commissioning groups, went on to perform this 24-minute piece at four different venues, including Cleveland's Severance Hall, West Palm Beach's Kravis Center, Portland State University's Lincoln Hall and University of Denver's Gates Concert Hall, to which they received rave reviews.
Zwilich is one of many highly-respected composers with which the Miami Quartet has worked. Additionally, the group has presented world premieres of pieces for quartets by Augusta Reed Thomas, Peteris Vasks, Bruce Adlophe, Philip Maneval, Robert Starer, David Baker, Stephen Jaffe and Annie Gosfield. The Miami Quartet has also performed works with symphony orchestras, such as the American Sinfonietta, the New World Symphony and the Miami Chamber Symphony.
The Miami String Quartet has quickly established its place among the most widely respected quartets in America. The student musicians at Kent State have been afforded the distinct honor and advantage of studying under the tutelage of such exceptional musicians. Visit any one of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music's wide array of chamber recitals to experience the impressive skill level of these fortunate students.