Avalon Quartet, guest Roger Chase will begin 2010-11 season with ‘Opening Night at the Opera’

Avalon QuartetViolist Roger Chase will join members of NIU School of Music’s Avalon String Quartet as they begin their 2010-11 performance season at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.

They will play Puccini’s “Crisantemi for String Quartet,” “Three Divertimenti” by Britten, “String Quartet in e minor” by Verdi and finish the concert with Mozart’s beautiful “String Quintet in C Major, K. 515.”

Members of the Avalon Quartet are Blaise Magniere – first violin, Richard O. Ryan Endowed Chair in Violin; Marie Wang – second violin; Anthony Devroye – viola; and Cheng-Hou Lee – cello. The members of the Avalon Quartet teach applied lessons and coach chamber music, and are active in their performance career bringing attention to the NIU School of Music from the concert stage and in other outreach activities. They annually perform a number of concerts on campus and on a concert series produced by NIU at Symphony Center in Chicago.

Founded in 1995, the Avalon Quartet held residencies at NIU and the Hartt School, and prior to their appointment at NIU School of Music in 2007 was the faculty quartet-in-residence at the Indiana University-South Bend Raclin School of the Arts for four years.

The quartet garnered attention as prize winners in major competitions including the grand prize at the 1998 Fischoff Competition, first prize in the 1999 Concert Artist Guild competition, and the highest prize awarded at the 2000 ARD Munich Competition. The quartet also received awards at the 1998 Banff and 1999 Melbourne competitions. Their debut CD, “Dawn to Dusk,” was awarded the 2002 Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Award. The Avalon Quartet has performed in numerous major venues including Carnegie-Weill Recital Hall, New York’s Merkin Hall, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the Music Alp Festival in Seoul, Korea, London’s Wigmore Hall, Herculessal in Munich, and the Ravinia Festival.

Born in London, Chase studied at the Royal College of Music with Bernard Shore and in Canada with Steven Staryk. He also worked for a short time with the legendary Lionel Tertis, whose famed Montagnana viola he now plays.

He made his debut with the English Chamber Orchestra in 1979, and in 1987 appeared as a soloist at a Promenade Concert at The Royal Albert Hall in London. He has since played as a soloist or chamber musician in major cities throughout the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, the Middle East, India, most of Eastern and all of Western Europe and Scandinavia.

Chase has been a member of many ensembles including the Nash Ensemble, the London Sinfonietta, the Esterhazy Baryton Trio, the Quartet of London, Hausmusik of London, and the London Chamber Orchestra. He has been invited to play as principal violist with every major British orchestra and many others in North America and Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Chase has performed and taught at numerous festivals in the USA (Tuscon Festival, Weekend of Chamber Music in the Catskills and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival), in Japan, in Italy (Casalmaggiore International Festival), France (Festival Consonances in St. Nazaire) and the Netherlands (Schiermonnikoog International Festival of Chamber Music).

He has taught at the Royal College of Music, the Guildhall School, the Royal Northern College of Music and Oberlin College. He currently teaches at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

The concert is free and open to the public. The NIU Music Building, 300 Lucinda Ave., is accessible to all. For those unable to attend, this concert also will be live-streamed.

For more information, contact Lynn Slater at (815) 753-1546 or lslater@niu.edu.

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