The Juilliard String Quartet
The Juilliard String Quartet: L–R: Roger Tapping, Viola; Astrid Schween, Cello; Ronald Copes, Violin; ; Areta Zhulla, Violin. Photo by Claudio Papapietro. download

The Juilliard String Quartet

Biography

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With unparalleled artistry and enduring vigor, the Juilliard String Quartet continues to inspire audiences around the world. Founded in 1946, and widely known as “the quintessential American string quartet,” the Juilliard draws on a deep and vital engagement to the classics, while embracing the mission of championing new works, a vibrant combination of the familiar and the daring. Each performance of the Juilliard Quartet is a unique experience, bringing together the four members’ profound understanding, total commitment, and unceasing curiosity in sharing the wonders of the string quartet literature.

Having recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, the Juilliard String Quartet marked the 2017-18 season with return appearances in Seattle, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, Memphis, Raleigh, Houston, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. It continued its acclaimed annual performances in Detroit and Philadelphia, along with numerous concerts at home in New York City, including appearances at Lincoln Center and Town Hall. Adding to its celebrated discography, the JSQ released a new album featuring the world premiere recording of Mario Davidovsky’s Fragments (2016), together with Beethoven Quartet Op. 95 and Bartók Quartet No. 1, which will shortly be issued on the SONY label. Highlights of concert programming throughout the 2017-18 season included other visionary works by Beethoven, Bartók, and Dvořák, as well as James MacMillan’s haunting and evocative Quartet No. 2, Why Is This Night Different? (1998).

The 2018-19 season will include concerts in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, London, Oslo, Athens, Vancouver, Toronto and New York, with many return engagements all over the USA. The season will also introduce a newly commissioned String Quartet by the wonderful young composer, Lembit Beecher, and some piano quintet collaborations with the celebrated Marc-André Hamelin.

Celebrating one of the great collaborative relationships in American music, Sony Classical’s reissue of the Juilliard Quartet’s landmark recordings of the first four Elliott Carter String Quartets together with the 2013 recording of the Carter Quartet No. 5 traces a remarkable period in the evolution of both the composer and the ensemble. The quartet’s recordings of the Bartók and Schoenberg Quartets, as well as those of Debussy, Ravel and Beethoven, have won Grammy Awards, and in 2011 the JSQ became the first classical music ensemble to receive a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Devoted master teachers, the members of the Juilliard String Quartet offer classes and open rehearsals when on tour. The JSQ is string quartet in residence at Juilliard and its members are all sought-after teachers on the string and chamber music faculties. Each May, they host the five-day internationally recognized Juilliard String Quartet Seminar. During the summer, the JSQ works closely on string quartet repertoire with students at the Tanglewood Music Center.

With unparalleled artistry and enduring vigor, the Juilliard String Quartet continues to inspire audiences around the world. Founded in 1946, and widely known as “the quintessential American string quartet,” the Juilliard draws on a deep and vital engagement to the classics, while embracing the mission of championing new works, a vibrant combination of the familiar and the daring. Each performance of the Juilliard Quartet is a unique experience, bringing together the four members’ profound understanding, total commitment, and unceasing curiosity in sharing the wonders of the string quartet literature.

Having recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, the Juilliard String Quartet marked the 2017-18 season with return appearances in Seattle, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, Memphis, Raleigh, Houston, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. It continued its acclaimed annual performances in Detroit and Philadelphia, along with numerous concerts at home in New York City, including appearances at Lincoln Center and Town Hall. Adding to its celebrated discography, the JSQ released a new album featuring the world premiere recording of Mario Davidovsky’s Fragments (2016), together with Beethoven Quartet Op. 95 and Bartók Quartet No. 1, which will shortly be issued on the SONY label. Highlights of concert programming throughout the 2017-18 season included other visionary works by Beethoven, Bartók, and Dvořák, as well as James MacMillan’s haunting and evocative Quartet No. 2, Why Is This Night Different? (1998).

The 2018-19 season will include concerts in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, London, Oslo, Athens, Vancouver, Toronto and New York, with many return engagements all over the USA. The season will also introduce a newly commissioned String Quartet by the wonderful young composer, Lembit Beecher, and some piano quintet collaborations with the celebrated Marc-André Hamelin.

Celebrating one of the great collaborative relationships in American music, Sony Classical’s reissue of the Juilliard Quartet’s landmark recordings of the first four Elliott Carter String Quartets together with the 2013 recording of the Carter Quartet No. 5 traces a remarkable period in the evolution of both the composer and the ensemble. The quartet’s recordings of the Bartók and Schoenberg Quartets, as well as those of Debussy, Ravel and Beethoven, have won Grammy Awards, and in 2011 the JSQ became the first classical music ensemble to receive a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Devoted master teachers, the members of the Juilliard String Quartet offer classes and open rehearsals when on tour. The JSQ is string quartet in residence at Juilliard and its members are all sought-after teachers on the string and chamber music faculties. Each May, they host the five-day internationally recognized Juilliard String Quartet Seminar. During the summer, the JSQ works closely on string quartet repertoire with students at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Areta Zhulla, Violin

Greek violinist Areta Zhulla has gained recognition as a passionate and poetic artist. She has been recently named “Young Artist of the Year” by the National Critics Association in Greece, and is a recipient of the prestigious Triandi Career Grant as well as the Tassos Prassopoulos Foundation Award. In 2018, Ms Zhulla joins the Juilliard String Quartet as the first violinist, as well as the violin and chamber music faculty of The Juilliard School.

Ms. Zhulla has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia, at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and National Arts Centre of Canada. Ms. Zhulla was a member of Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center, where she performed and toured with some of today’s most acclaimed artists. Memorable collaborations include performances with Itzhak Perlman at Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, as well as collaborations with legendary conductor Michel Plasson, Pinchas Zukerman, Gary Hoffman, Gilbert Kalish, Colin Carr, and members of the Cleveland, Emerson, and Cavani String Quartets.

A passionate educator, Ms Zhulla is artistic director of the Perlman-Genesis Violin Project, a series of workshops at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. She has served as the Starling Fellow teaching assistant to Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School from 2016-2018, and is chamber music faculty at the Perlman Music Program, of which she is an alumna. Ms. Zhulla was guest faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2012 and 2013, and frequently leads master classes nationally and abroad.

Ms. Zhulla studied at Juilliard with Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho, and was a recipient of the George and Marie Vergotis Scholarship. Other teachers include Pinchas Zukerman, Patinka Kopec and her father, Lefter Zhulla.

Ronald Copes, Violin

Praised by audiences and critics alike for his insightful artistry, violinist Ronald Copes has toured extensively with Music From Marlboro ensembles, the Los Angeles and Dunsmuir Piano Quartets, and with the Juilliard String Quartet. During the 2011-13 seasons, he and Seymour Lipkin will perform cycles of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival and the Juilliard School.

Mr. Copes has recorded numerous solo and chamber music works for radio and television broadcast as well as for Sony Classical, Orion, CRI, Klavier, Bridge, New World Records, ECM and the Musical Heritage Society. He has worked closely with composers including Stephen Hartke and Donald Crockett, and has garnered prizes in the Artists’ Advisory Council International Competition, the Merriweather Post Competition and the Concours International d’Exécution Musicale in Geneva. During the summer he is on faculty of the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. For two decades, he served as Professor of Violin at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and joined the faculty of The Juilliard School in 1997, where he serves as chair of the violin department.

Roger Tapping, Viola

Roger Tapping joined the Juilliard Quartet and the Juilliard School viola faculty in 2013, replacing Samuel Rhodes after his 44 year tenure.  Mr Tapping had moved from London to the USA in 1995 to join the Takács Quartet. During his decade with them, their career included many Beethoven and Bartok cycles in major cities all over the world. Their Decca/London recordings, including the complete quartets of Bartók and Beethoven, placed them in Gramophone Magazine’s Hall of Fame and won three Gramophone Awards, a Grammy and three more Grammy nominations, among many other awards.

In recent years he was on the viola faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he also directed the Chamber Music program. He has also taught at the Boston Conservatory and at Longy.​

In the summers his faculty activities include the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, the Tanglewood String Quartet Seminar and Yellow Barn. He has also given viola master classes at Banff and at other festivals and conservatories in North America, Europe and Asia.

Born in England in 1960, Mr. Tapping played in a number of London’s leading chamber ensembles, making several highly-acclaimed CDs, before joining Britain’s longest established quartet, the Allegri Quartet. He taught at London’s Royal Academy of Music, was principal viola of the London Mozart Players, a member of the English Chamber Orchestra and a founding member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

He has performed frequently as a guest with many distinguished quartets from the U.S. and Europe, and he was a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society.

Mr. Tapping is a member of the Order of the Knight Cross of the Hungarian Republic, holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Nottingham, and is a fellow of the Guildhall School of Music in London.

Astrid Schween, Cello

In 2016, Astrid Schween joined the JSQ, succeeding her esteemed colleague Joel Krosnick. Now a member of the Juilliard Cello Faculty, Ms. Schween remains active as a soloist, appearing this season in Boston, Oakland, Memphis, the International Cello Institute, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and with the Boulder Philharmonic, performing the Elgar concerto.

She made her debut as soloist with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Zubin Mehta and received her degrees from the Juilliard School. Her teachers included Harvey Shapiro, Leonard Rose, Dr. H.T. Ma, Bernard Greenhouse and Jacqueline Du Pre, with whom she studied in London. She participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and William Pleeth Master Classes, and was on faculty at UMass Amherst, Hartt School of Music, Mount Holyoke College and Interlochen.

A former member of the Boston Trio and Lark Quartet, Ms. Schween performed at major venues around the world and received many honors including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award with the Lark. During her tenure, the quartet produced critically acclaimed recordings for the Arabesque, Decca/Argo, New World, CRI and Point labels, and commissioned numerous works.

An active juror and panelist, she has been featured in Strings and Strad magazines, on “Living the Classical Life,” NPR, The Violin Channel, CelloBello, and as a guest speaker at the Library of Congress. Following her solo cello album, “Rhapsody,” Ms. Schween’s current recording project covers the major Romantic cello sonatas with pianist Michael Gurt. Recent faculty appointments include the Sphinx Performance Academy, Tanglewood and the Perlman Music Program, where she succeeds celebrated cellist Ronald Leonard.

August 2018. Please discard previously dated materials and contact email hidden; JavaScript is required before making any alterations or cuts.

Members

Areta Zhulla, Violin (The Juilliard String Quartet)
Areta Zhulla, violin
Ronald Copes, violin (The Juilliard String Quartet)
Ronald Copes, violin
Roger Tapping, viola (The Juilliard String Quartet)
Roger Tapping, viola
Astrid Schween, Cello (The Juilliard String Quartet)
Astrid Schween, cello

Example Programs

  • Program I, 19/20

    • Beethoven: Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
    • Kurtág: 6 Moments Musicaux Op. 44 or Dutilleux: “Ainsi la Nuit”
    • Beethoven: Quartet No. 14 in C minor, Op. 131
  • Program II, 19/20

    • Mozart: Quartet No. 17 in B-flat major, K. 458, “The Hunt”
    • Britten: Quartet No. 3, Op. 94 or Dutilleux: “Ainsi la Nuit”
    • Brahms: Quartet in A minor, Op 51, No. 2
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Press Quotes

“Whether playing Beethoven, Schubert, Bartok or Carter, the Juilliard Quartet remains unsurpassed in bringing attention to details and expressive devices.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The Juilliard String Quartet, in its more than 50 years, has made it a point of honor to approach contemporary pieces with the same care and respect as it would established classics, and to approach antique masterworks with the sense of excitement and adventure it would the newly minted.”

The New York Times

“Each of the four has a notably beautiful tone, a sound that sings out but also blends. They show a shared understanding of the music they play; every bow stroke adds to its meaning and its integrity.”

Chicago Tribune
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