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Dvorak Quartet in E Flat Op. 51



Haydn Quartet Op. 20 No. 4


Enso String Quartet Program

Maureen Nelson, violin
John Marcus, violin
Melissa Reardon, viola
Richard Belcher, cello

Friday, April 16, 2010, 7:30

Grammy-nominated for "Best Chamber Music Performance" for their latest CD of the String Quartets by Ginastera, the Enso String Quartet is quickly becoming one of the USA's most accomplished young string quartets, since its inception at Yale University in 1999. After launching their performing career with success at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and winning the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the quartet's debut CD was described by Strad Magazine as "an auspicious start to their recording career." MusicWeb International summed up their new Ginastera disc as "String quartet playing of jaw-dropping prowess revealing masterpieces of the 20th century quartet literature...seek out this group - they are clearly bound for greatness," and named it one of MusicWeb's Recordings of the Year for 2009.

Maureen Nelson, violin, appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra 1990 and 1991, and has since enjoyed international success as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player. Hailing from Pennsylvania, Maureen was enrolled in Temple University's Center for Gifted Young Musicians at the age of twelve and was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music when she was sixteen. She holds degrees from Yale University and the Curtis Institute of Music. Her major teachers include Shmuel Ashkenasi, Jascha Brodsky, and Yumi Ninomiya Scott. She has collaborated on projects with the Jose Limon Dance Company and appeared regularly for Musiqa, the Houston based new music series, premiering many new works. Most recently, she premiered Joan Tower's Piano Quintet with the composer at the keyboard at the legendary Dumbarton Estate. She has performed live on numerous radio stations including Australia's ABC, Canada's CBC, Houston's KUHF, Chicago's WFMT, New York's WQXR, and for NPR's Performance Today and MPR's Saint Paul Sunday.

John Marcus, violin is a native New Yorker and graduate of The Juilliard School where he received his Pre-College Division Diploma, his Bachelor of Music and his Master of Music degrees. He also holds a Post-Graduate Certificate from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. His major teachers include Dorothy DeLay and David Takeno. He gave his first public performance at the Mozarteum in Salzburg at the age of nine and at age 15, he performed at Lincoln Center as winner of the Juilliard Violin Competition. In 1993, at the opening Gala of the Harris Concert Hall in Aspen, he appeared as soloist with Pinchas Zukerman and the Aspen Chamber Symphony. The Stradivarius Society of Chicago lent John Marcus the "Burmeister" Guarnerius del Gesu (1742) for this occasion. John was invited to premiere John Corigiliano's Sonata for the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne, to record for the "Artist to Come" Series of the Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt, and solo with the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt.

Melissa Reardon, viola, First Prize Winner of the Washington International Competition, and the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International Viola Competitions, received the prize for "best performance of a newly commissioned piece" at HAMS in 2006 as well the NEC's prestigious Tourjee Alumni Award. She has performed with the Miami, Daedalus, Borromeo String Quartets, and with members of the Guarneri, Mendelssohn, Brentano, St. Lawrence and Shanghai quartets and the Beaux Arts Trio. In 2006, she was chosen as one of four violists internationally to participate in Chamber Music Connects the World with Gidon Kremer and Yuri Bashmet in Kronberg, Germany. Melissa holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory; her principal teachers include Kim Kashkashian, Michael Tree, Joseph dePasquale, Karen Tuttle, Samuel Rhodes, and Hsin-Yun Huang. Since 2007 Melissa has held the position of Assistant Professor of Viola at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.

New Zealand cellist Richard Belcher has performed as a chamber musician and in solo settings across the USA and internationally. His time is principally taken up as cellist of the Enso String Quartet, of which he is a founding member. Richard is Principal Cellist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and has been a regular performer for Music in Context, often collaborating with series founder Sergiu Luca. Richard enjoys teaching and has served as Adjunct Faculty at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, for three summers was on faculty at Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and currently is on the faculty at the Interlochen Adult Chamber Music Camp. Richard moved to the USA in 1998 to study with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, and it was there in 1999 that he founded the Enso Quartet. Other major teachers include Norman Fischer, Marc Johnson, Alexander Ivashkin, and Frances De Goldi. Richard plays an N.F. Vuillaume cello made in 1856, and lives in New York City.


String Quartet No. 4
Béla Bartók


Prestissimo, con sordino
Non troppo lento
Allegretto pizzicato
Allegro molto

String Quartet, op. 2, no. 3 in G Minor
Ignaz Joseph Pleyel



Allegro assai


String Quartet in A Minor, op.13 (1827)
Felix Mendelssohn

Adagio-Allegro vivace
Adagio non lento
Intermezzo: Allegretto con moto - Allegro di molto
Presto - Adagio non lento

The Enso Quartet appears through arrangements with Vantage Artists. Special thanks to Hotel 43 for generous support for artist accommodations.


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