The Ariel Quartet is comprised of Alexandra Kazovsky, violin; Amit Even-Tov, cello; Gershon Gerchikov, violin; and Jan Grüning, viola. The group was formed in Israel in 1998, and they have been playing together ever since. 2014 recipients of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Quartet directs CCM’s chamber music program as part of this residency, in addition to their annual series of concerts at the college.
“The past three and a half years exceeded our initial expectations of this residency in every respect,” the members of the Ariel Quartet explained. “The eagerness of CCM’s students paired with the incredible support of our esteemed faculty colleagues has enabled us to help cultivate the active and enthusiastic chamber music community of our dreams. We are thrilled to be able to make Cincinnati our permanent home and are excited at the prospect of continuing to be a part of this community’s musical life.”
The Ariel Quartet will continue to perform four concerts per year in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium for the duration of this new seven-year agreement. The Quartet will continue to coach 20 – 25 student string quartets in the fine art of chamber music performance, as well. The members of the Ariel Quartet will also expand their pedagogic roles at CCM by adding one-on-one teaching to their responsibilities.
CCM’s new agreement with the Quartet also provides a fund to attract guest artists who will perform with the Ariels and provide masterclasses for students, along with funding to support an annual student string quartet competition.
The Ariel Quartet will also be able to maintain its impressive international performance schedule thanks to support from the University of Cincinnati, which was key in assisting the members of the Quartet in obtaining their H-1B visas.
According to Paul Katz, the scope of the Ariel Quartet’s new arrangement with CCM is quite noteworthy. Founding cellist of the world-renowned Cleveland Quartet and a master teacher at the New England Conservatory, Katz said, “The long-term nature of this agreement brings both deserved economic security to this amazing young string ensemble, and gives CCM and the Ariel Quartet time together to build a first class string chamber music program for the school.”
Prior to its residency at CCM, the Ariel Quartet was the resident ensemble of the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, which is led by Katz. “I am delighted that my 26 years in the Cleveland Quartet and our groundbreaking residency arrangement at the Eastman School of Music was able to serve as a successful model for CCM’s relationship with the Ariel Quartet,” he observed.
Katz concluded, “In 45 years of mentoring extraordinary young groups, seldom have I seen an arrangement of comparable perception, detail and mutual benefit.”
“This has all been made possible by a group of individuals who understand how their investment in this young quartet revives a proud tradition initiated by the LaSalle Quartet,” Landgren explained, referring to CCM’s storied string quartet-in-residence from 1953-88. “Cincinnati and CCM will continue to benefit from the remarkable talents and engaging personality of the Ariel Quartet, whose members are writing an exciting new chapter in our community’s strong history of chamber music.”