Ensemble
Biography

Nicholas Tavani & Rachel Shapiro, violins
Caitlin Lynch, viola
Alan Richardson, cello

Praised by the Baltimore Sun for combining “smoothly meshed technique with a sense of spontaneity and discovery,” the Aeolus Quartet is committed to presenting time-seasoned masterworks and new cutting-edge works to widely diverse audiences with equal freshness, dedication, and fervor.

Violinists Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violist Caitlyn Lynch, and cellist Alan Richardson formed the Aeolus Quartet in 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since its inception, the all-American quartet has been awarded prizes at nearly every major competition in the United States and performed across the globe with showings "worthy of a major-league quartet" (Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News). Luke Quinton of the Austin-American Statesman writes, “The Aeolus Quartet is a powerful and thoughtful group of young musicians who are plotting an ascending course…this vibrant group shows great promise.”

In the 2017-18 season the Aeolus Quarter performs with the Austin Chamber Music Concert Series, Newburgh Chamber Music, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Camerata Musica, Lincoln Center Great Performers Atrium Series, Friends of Chamber Music Reading, and at Lehigh University. The quartet’s 2015-2016 season included multiple performances in New York, including Merkin Hall, a Bargemusic residency, and the Morgan Library; residencies at BYU Idaho; University of Iowa, and Southern Oregon University; and extensive touring throughout the United States. In addition, the quartet has partnered with the Detroit Chamber Music Society and NYU’s MUSED Lab to create an entirely new app-based educational music residency experience for schools.

Other notable venues in North America, Europe, and Asia where the quartet has appeared include New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall; Reinberger Recital Hall, Severance Hall; The Library of Congress; Renwick Gallery; St. Martin-in-the-Fields; and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.

Dedicated to bringing music into the community, the Aeolus Quartet has been widely recognized for their highly innovative and engaging outreach programs. The quartet is the recipient of a CMA Residency Partnership Grant and was named the 2015-2016 Guarneri Quartet Residency in recognition of artistic achievement. The project involves extensive outreach and performance at Duke Ellington School for the Arts, the Sitar Arts Center, and George Washington University. The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association awarded the Aeolus Quartet their Educator Award in acknowledgment of the positive impact their efforts have had in diverse communities. Additionally, they were awarded the Lad Prize, which culminated in community engagement in the Stanford area and a masterclass residency at Stanford University. The Aeolus Quartet has also served as teaching faculty at Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY), the Austin Chamber Music Workshop, and Da Camera of Houston's Music Encounters Program. Working in collaboration with the University of Texas through the Rural Chamber Music Outreach Initiative, the quartet has presented educational programs and performances in communities throughout the state of Texas.

The Aeolus Quartet was Grand Prizewinner of the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. It was awarded First Prize at the Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, a Silver Medal at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and a Bronze Medal at the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in New England. The Austin Critics' Table named the Aeolus Quartet "Best Ensemble." The Aeolus Quartet has released two critically acclaimed albums of classical and contemporary works through the Longhorn/Naxos label.

The Aeolus Quartet has studied extensively with the Miró, Guarneri, and Juilliard quartets. Other mentors include artists such as William Preucil, Peter Salaff, Donald Weilerstein, Itzhak Perlman, Gerhard Schulz, and Mark Steinberg. Members of the quartet hold degrees from the Peabody Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Texas at Austin, where they served as the first Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence. They also served as Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, and they currently make their home in New York City.

The quartet is named for the Greek god Aeolus, who governed the four winds. This idea of a single spirit uniting four individual forces serves as an inspiration to the members of the Aeolus Quartet as they pursue their art.

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