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Photo: Rory Earnshaw
About Afiara String Quartet:
The all-Canadian Afiara String Quartet is widely noted for its engaging, authentic presence and performances balancing “intensity and commitment” with “frequent moments of tenderness.” [The Montreal Gazette].
Winner of the 2008 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the 2010 Young Canadian Musicians Award, top prizes at the Munich ARD International Music Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition, where they also took the Szekely Prize for best Beethoven interpretation, the Afiara String Quartet has lively interest in new works and fresh insight into core classical repertoire.
In the 2011/12 season, the Afiara will perform concerts at the Baryshnikov Arts Centre in New York City, at Stamford Chamber Music Group in Connecticut, ProMusica San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, Music at Kohl Mansion in California, Chamber Music Cincinnati, Art Center Chamber Music Concerts in New Jersey, and elsewhere in North America. They will offer masterclasses, educational outreach and performances in residency at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and for their annual return to Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music as Visiting-Quartet-in-Residence. They will also perform a program with Jörg Widmann for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
In 2011, the Afiara String Quartet completed a two-year tenure as graduate resident string quartet at The Juilliard School in New York, where they served as teaching assistants to the Juilliard String Quartet. Prior to that, they were the Morrison Fellowship Quartet-in-Residence at San Francisco State University’s International Center for the Arts (2007-2009), where the members were teaching assistants to their mentor ensemble, the Alexander String Quartet. The Afiara players have also worked with musicians and ensembles including the American, Cavani, Emerson, Kronos, St. Lawrence, Takacs and Ying Quartets, Earl Carlyss, James Dunham, Henk Guittart, Bonnie Hampton, and at the San Francisco Conservatory, where they were formed, with Paul Hersh, Mark Sokol and Ian Swensen. They also provide educational outreach and make regular appearances at The Banff Centre, which generously provides the 1737 Guidantus violin played by second violinist Yuri Cho.
Recognizing the vital importance of music education and advocacy, the Afiara String Quartet pursues its own teaching work, in residence at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music and as faculty at Chamber Music of the Rockies, Indiana University Summer String Academy, and Canada’s Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute, among other institutions.
Formed in 2006, the Afiara String Quartet takes its name from the Spanish fiar, meaning “to trust,” a basic element vital to the depth and joy of its music-making.