Skip to main content

Professional String Quartet Training Program

NEC's Professional String Quartet Training Program is led by Paul Katz. The program is intended for existing string quartets who are selected by audition; it is not open to individuals. One quartet is selected for each two-year residency, so applications are typically accepted every two years.

The program provides intensive training and coaching for exceptional groups that show the talent and commitment necessary to pursue a concert career. The program comes will a full tuition scholarship and $10,000 stipend for each student, weekly coachings from Paul Katz plus weekly individual studio instruction from NEC strings faculty members, daily group rehearsal, and training in all aspects of musicianship and career development. Quartets perform a yearly recital in our world-renowned Jordan Hall and are contracted through NEC for outreach opportunities and performances at venues throughout New England.

Ready to apply? Please review the application process and contact Admissions with any questions.

Read a Strings magazine profile of Paul Katz's work with this program.

Participants in the Program

Lineups named on this page represent how the quartets were constituted during their participation in NEC's Professional String Quartet program.

Verona Quartet
2019
Jonathan Ong and Dorothy Ro, violin; Abigail Rojansky, viola,; Jonathan Dormand '12 M.M., cello

  • Carnegie Hall debut (2017)
  • Musical America “New Artists of the Month” (May 2016)
  • second place, M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition (2016)
  • winner, Concert Artists Guild Competition and Commissioning Prize (2015)
  • second prize (shared) and ProQuartet-CEMC Prize, Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition (2015)
  • third prize, Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (2015)
  • third prize, 8th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition (2014, as Wasmuth String Quartet)
  • grand prize and audience choice, Chesapeake Chamber Music Competitions (2014, as Wasmuth)
  • grand prize, Coleman Chamber Music Competition (2013, as Wasmuth)
  • silver medal, senior division, Fischoff Chamber Music Competitions (2013, as Wasmuth)
  • Residency with the city of Danville, Ill. (2013–2015)

Omer Quartet
2017
Mason Yu, Erica Tursi, violin; Jinsun Hong, viola; Alex Cox, cello

  • second prize, International String Quartet Competition "Premio Paolo Borciani" (2017, no first prize awarded) 
  • special prize, 8th Concours International de Quatuor à Cordes de Bordeaux (2016)
  • grand prize and gold medal, 40th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2013)
  • 8-concert tour of Midwest, concerts in Emilia Romagna Festival as result of Fischoff win
  • guest artists at Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts
  • quartet-in-residence, Cleveland Chamber Music Society (2012–13)
  • fellowship ensemble, La Jolla Music Society's Summerfest
  • Western Piedmont Symphony's Metro String Quartet Residency
  • invited by Banff Centre to give world premiere Robert Becker's Preludes for percussion, string quartet
  • extensive experience performing original and interactive programs for non-traditional audiences.

Harlem Quartet
2012
Ilmar Gavilán and Melissa White, violin; Juan-Miguel Hernandez, viola; Paul Wiancko, cello

  • featured on Chick Corea and Gary Burton's Grammy Award-winning album Hot House (2013)
  • performed at NEC's Jordan Hall (2012)
  • performed at the White House and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009)
  • performed at the Library of Congress (2008)
  • debut CD release on White Pine: Take the "A" Train (2007)
  • founded by the Sphinx Organization (2006)

Ariel String Quartet
2010
Gershon Gerchikov and Alexandra Kazovsky, violin; Sergey Tarashchansky, viola; Amit Even-Tov, cello

  • named string-quartet-in-residence at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (2012)
  • Jordan Hall concert (2008)
  • third prize and Szekely prize, Banff International String Quartet Competition (2007)
  • grand prize, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2006)
  • first prize, International Competition Franz Schubert and the Music of Modernity in Graz (2003)

Parker Quartet
2008
Daniel Chong and Karen Kim, violin; Jessica Bodner, viola; Kee-hyun Kim, cello

  • Blodgett Quartet-in-Residence at Harvard University (2014–present)
  • Grammy award for Ligeti CD (2010)
  • Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America (2009–2011)
  • launched Ligeti recording cycle with Naxos (2009)
  • second prize, Young Concert Artists International Auditions (2005)
  • winner, Concert Artists Guild Competition (2005)
  • grand prize and the Mozart prize, Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition (2005)

Jupiter String Quartet
2006
Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violin; Liz Freivogel, viola; Daniel McDonough, cello

  • second Marquis release: Mendelssohn and Beethoven
  • debut CD release on Marquis: Shostakovich and Britten
  • Avery Fisher Career Grant (2008)
  • Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America (2007–2009)
  • first prize, Young Concert Artists International Auditions (2005)
  • grand prize, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2004)
  • first prize, Banff International String Quartet Competition (2004)
  • also winners of Jerome L. Greene Foundation Prize, the Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, the La Jolla Music Society Prize, and the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival Prize

Biava Quartet
2004
Austin Hartman and Hyunsu Ko, violin; Mary Persin, viola; Jacob Braun, cello

  • Austin Hartman joins Pacifica Quartet (2017)
  • Jacob Braun joins chamber music faculty of the Colburn School (2013)
  • Hyunsu Ko named concertmaster of Mercury Orchestra (2011)
  • fourth prize, Premio Paolo Borciani String Quartet Competition (2005)
  • third prize, the 9th Annual London International String Competition (2003)
  • first prize, Naumburg Chamber Music Competition (2003)
  • top prizes, 55th Annual Coleman National Chamber Music Competition (2003)
  • top prizes, Young Concert Artists International Auditions (2002, 2003)
  • top prizes, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2001)

Kuss Quartet
2002
Jana Kuss and Oliver Wille, violin; William Coleman, viola; Felix M. Nickel, cello

  • first prize, Deutschen Musikrat (2002)
  • first prize, Premio Paolo Borciani String Quartet Competition (2002)