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Omer String Quartet at TFAC
February 26 @ 7:30 pm
Distinctive among today’s young string quartets, the Omer Quartet came into prominence in 2013 when it received Grand Prize and gold medal at the Fischoff National Competition. It also won First Prize in the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and holds the Helen F. Whitaker Chamber Music Chair of YCA. In addition, the Quartet won the Tryon Concert Association Prize at the Young Concert Artists Final Auditions in NYC in November 2017.
Following study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Omer Quartet completed a graduate residency at the New England Conservatory, where its members coached, gave masterclasses, and worked closely with Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, and Soovin Kim.
Mason Yu, violin, who was initially a pianist, discovered the violin at age 7 after completing his first piano examinations. He heard a violinist warming up with a Mozart violin concerto and was instantly attracted to that sound. Erica Tursi, violin, began her artistic journey with singing and ballet. When she was 8, she saw the violin being performed on TV and knew immediately that she wanted to be a violinist.
Jinsun Hong, viola, first started to play the violin when she was age 10, but she switched to viola after a friend remarked that her long arms and big hands meant she was capable to play viola well. She reports that she subsequently became obsessed with studying “violist’s bow arms.” Alex Cox, cello, claims that finding the cello was a lucky misfortune. He was introduced to the violin at age 9; he played for a year before his school music teacher forced a cello into his hands because nobody else would play it.
Committed to community engagement, the Quartet devotes time to creating original and interactive programs. The members have inaugurated a Music for Food concert series with the help of grant funds from Tarisio Auction House in the metro-DC area with the mission to support local hunger relief. Their first season created over 7000 meals.
The music critic with the San Diego Union Tribune acknowledged that, “The Omer Quartet played as if the ink were still wet on the page. It made it seem as if Haydn was not some bust on the piano, but a living, breathing composer. This was an invigorating interpretation, played with a sense of discovery and adventure, but also with considerable finesse.”♦