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IU Jacobs School of Music student quartets win at Coleman and Chesapeake chamber competitions

May 6, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– Two student quartets from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music have scored five prestigious competition wins between them this spring.

The Wasmuth Quartet, coached by the Pacifica Quartet, was the Alice Coleman Prize winner at the 2014 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition and the Gold Medal Prize and Audience Appreciation Award winner at the 2014 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition.

The Kenari Quartet, coached by Otis Murphy, won the Coleman-Saunderson Prize for Woodwinds or Brass at the Coleman, one of the nation's foremost chamber music competitions, drawing competitors from across the United States.

In addition, Kenari won the Silver Medal Prize at this year's Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, an international chamber music competition that emphasizes competition as well as assisting young ensembles through networking with chamber music presenters in the area.

"We are very thankful to the Jacobs School faculty and administration for their continuous support," said Wasmuth cellist Warren Hagerty. "We feel very privileged to be a part of such a fantastic institution, and we hope that this tradition of chamber music will continue to grow and flourish for many years to come."

"The past few weeks have made us extremely proud to be students in the Jacobs School of Music," said Steven Banks, baritone saxophonist with Kenari. "We hope that these significant wins will help Kenari and Wasmuth continue to create a national presence in the chamber music community and beyond."

Kenari Quartet

Kenari Quartet

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About the Kenari Quartet

The Kenari Quartet—Bob Eason, soprano saxophone; Durand Jones, alto saxophone; Corey Dundee, tenor saxophone; and Banks—strives to achieve musical and artistic excellence while maintaining a strong connection with audiences of all backgrounds.

Through creative programming and convincing stage presence, Kenari takes pride in consistently delivering engaging performances. The quartet aims to use the versatility of the saxophone to present music from a wide range of genres.

The members of the Kenari Quartet come from varied musical backgrounds, which allow the ensemble to have a unique voice that is well informed by all periods of classical music as well as jazz, soul and other genres.

Kenari formed in the fall of 2012 at the Jacobs School of Music, where all four members study with Murphy.

While at Jacobs, the quartet has earned top prizes in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, J. C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition and Plowman Chamber Music Competition, in addition to the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition and Coleman Chamber Music Competition.

Wasmuth Quartet

Wasmuth Quartet

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About the Wasmuth Quartet

Since its formation in 2013, the Wasmuth Quartet Jonathan Ong and Brendan Shea, violins; Abigail Rojansky, viola; and Hagertyhas won numerous accolades and awards, and has performed across the United States and in Europe.

Within five months of its formation, the quartet received first prize at the Kuttner String Quartet Competition in Bloomington, Ind., and won the Silver Medal in the senior division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Most recently, the group performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on National Public Radio (WFIU), and was named the string quartet-in-residence at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany, where it performed and studied quartet literature with renowned Haydn, Beethoven and Ligeti scholars such as Armin Raab, Emil Platen and Louise Duchesneau.

The current season for the Wasmuth included its debut recital in Chicago, Ill., in January 2014, where it was featured in the “Music in the Loft” concert series in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building.

In addition to their performance commitments, the members are strong proponents of music outreach and education, and have an ongoing residency in Danville, Ill., where they give numerous recitals over the course of the year and work with young musicians on performance and practice skills.

The quartet was recently on the judging panel for the IU String Quartet Composition Competition. In January 2014, the ensemble was chosen to participate in the 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka, Japan.

The Wasmuth Quartet is currently the graduate string quartet-in-residence at the Jacobs School of Music, where the members pursue studies with the Pacifica Quartet, Atar Arad, Alexander Kerr, Ik-Hwan Bae, Kevork Mardirossian and Eric Kim. In addition, they are also coaching assistants to the Pacifica Quartet.