J FREIVOGEL – violin
SAE CHONABAYASHI – violin
SAM QUINTAL – viola
RACHEL HENDERSON FREIVOGEL – cello
Winner of the 2012 Cleveland Quartet Award, the Jasper String Quartet has been hailed as “sonically delightful and expressively compelling” (The Strad) and as “powerful” (The New York Times). The Classical Voice of North Carolina says they play “with sparkling vitality and great verve, …polished, engaged, and in tune with one another.”
Based in Philadelphia, PA, the Jaspers are the Professional Quartet-in-Residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. They record exclusively for Sono Luminus and have released three highly acclaimed albums – Beethoven Op. 131, The Kernis Project: Schubert, and The Kernis Project: Beethoven. From 2015-2017 the Quartet will premiere their commission of Aaron Jay Kernis’ 3rd Quartet across the world, including at Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall in London.
After winning the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize in the 2008 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, the Jaspers went on to win the Grand Prize at the 2008 Coleman Competition, First Prize at Chamber Music Yellow Springs 2008, and the Silver Medal at the 2008 and 2009 Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions. They were the first ensemble to win the Yale School of Music’s Horatio Parker Memorial Prize (2009), an award established in 1945 and selected by the faculty for “best fulfilling… lofty musical ideals”. And in 2010, they joined the roster of Astral Artists after winning their national auditions.
The quartet was the 2010-12 Ensemble-in-Residence at Oberlin Conservatory and, in conjunction with Astral Artists, was awarded a 2012 Chamber Music America grant through its Residency Partnership Program for work in Philadelphia schools. From 2009-2011, the Jaspers were the Ernst C. Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts (Katonah, NY). They were the first ensemble to be invited for a second year as such.
The Jaspers perform pieces emotionally significant to its members ranging from Haydn and Beethoven through Berg, Ligeti, and living composers. They have commissioned string quartets from some of today’s up-and-coming composers, including Andrew Norman, Nicholas Omiccioli, Conrad Tao and Annie Gosfield. They are delighted to be in the midst of a quartet commissioning project with Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Aaron Jay Kernis. Critics and audiences commend the Jasper String Quartet’s “programming savvy” (clevelandclassical.com) and they have performed throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway and Panama.
The Jasper String Quartet has brought well over 100 outreach programs into schools and enjoys educational work of all types. In their Melba and Orville Roleffson Residency at the Banff Centre they embarked on “guerrilla chamber music,” performing concerts in unusual settings around Alberta, Canada. Currently, the quartet works closely with Philadelphia’s Astral Artists to bring outreach activities to schools.
Formed at Oberlin Conservatory, the Jasper String Quartet began pursuing a professional career in 2006 while studying with James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith as Rice University’s Graduate Quartet-in-Residence. In 2008, the quartet continued its training with theTokyo String Quartet asYale University’s Graduate Quartet-in-Residence.
Notes courtesy of the Quartet.