NEC Alumna Emily Brandenburg ’15 MM Announced New Member of Cassatt String Quartet

Cassatt String Quartet
Photo: Dario Acosta

The Cassatt String Quartet has announced violist and NEC alumna Emily Brandenburg ’15 MM as its new member. Brandenburg will succeed Rosemary Nelis, who joined the group in 2022 and is leaving to focus on other projects. Other quartet members include violinists Jennifer Leshnower and Muneko Otani, who studied at NEC in the '80s, and cellist Gwen Krosnick ’13 MM.

Previously, Brandenburg was Artist-in-Residence at the University of Evansville, where she was principal viola of the Evansville Philharmonic and a member of the Eykamp String Quartet. She has experience performing with various ensembles, including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Albany and Portland Symphonies, as well as chamber music groups such as the Metropolis Ensemble and the Frisson Chamber Ensemble. This fall, Brandenburg will also join the faculty of Riverdale Country School, where she will teach both viola and violin.

Brandenburg received her Master of Music in Viola Performance from NEC in 2015, where she studied with former faculty member Martha Katz. She also holds degrees from Yale and McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University.

The New York City-based Cassatt String Quartet will celebrate its 40th anniversary in the coming season. The group has performed around the world since 1985. 

“Muneko, Jennifer, and I are overjoyed to welcome Emily Brandenburg to the Cassatt Quartet as our new violist, and to look forward to the years of shared adventures and music-making ahead!” Krosnick said in the press release. “Emily brings to the CSQ her extraordinary experience as a lifelong chamber musician and an especially devoted quartet player; she balances a brilliant analytical mind with a rich, compelling, unusual voice that is deeply layered and beautiful.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the Cassatt String Quartet as their new violist,” Brandenburg added. “I have admired the quartet for their artistry, and for their long standing commitment to new music, working hand-in-hand with a diverse array of composers. I look forward to beginning this chapter with them as they enter their 40th season and to all the years of memories and music making to come.”