Professional String Quartet Program

Paul Katz works with the Ariel Quartet
Professional String Quartet Program at NEC

Directed by Paul Katz, cellist for 26 years of the legendary Cleveland Quartet, the Professional String Quartet Program provides a curriculum of intensive coaching for exceptional groups that possess the talent, potential and commitment to a professional life together. It is open only to existing string quartets, rather than individuals, normally for two years. Applications and competitive auditions take place whenever there is an opening, usually on a bi-annual basis.

Each member of a selected quartet receives a full tuition scholarship; a $10,000 stipend; 2 weekly coachings from Paul Katz and one weekly coaching from another member of the esteemed NEC string faculty; weekly individual studio instruction; and training in all aspects of musicianship and career development. Quartets perform an annual recital in NEC's world-renowned Jordan Hall and are contracted through NEC for community engagement opportunities and performances at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and New School Schneider Series, among others.

Students in the Professional String Quartet Program may apply for a Master of Music in the Art of String Quartet, a degree available only to members of this program. In addition, as quartet members often vary in age and are often at different stages of their academic career,  students can apply for other degrees and diplomas. Any questions regarding these details can be asked of admissions staff.

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

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.

Balourdet Quartet (2020 – to present)
Angela Bae and Justin DeFilippis ’17, violin; Benjamin Zannoni, viola; Russell Houston, cello 

Grand Prize, Concert Artist Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition (2021); Top Prize, Premio Paolo Borciani Competition (2021); Gold Medal, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2020); Gold Medal and Audience Award, Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition (2020)

Verona Quartet (2017 – 2020)
Jonathan Ong and Dorothy Ro, violin; Abigail Rojansky, viola, Jonathan Dormand '12 M.M., cello

Quartet-in-Residence, Oberlin College and Conservatory; Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award (2020); Dinin Arts Management

Omer Quartet (2015 - 2017)
Mason Yu ‘15 MM, and Erica Tursi, violin; Jinsun Hong,‘13 MM ‘13 GD, viola; Alex Cox, cello

Top Prize, Premio Paolo Borciani Competition (2017); First Prize, Young Concert Artists International Auditions (2017); Second Prize, Trondheim International Competition (2017); Grand Prize and Gold Medal, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2013)

Harlem Quartet (2010 - 2013)
Ilmar Gavilán and Melissa White ‘12 MM, violin; Juan-Miguel Hernandez, viola; Paul Wiancko, cello

Grammy Award Winner (2013 - Best Instrumental Composition with Chick Corea); Sciolino Artist Management; White House Performance (2009)

Ariel String Quartet (2008 - 2010)
Gershon Gerchikov ‘09, and Alexandra Kazovsky '08, violin; Sergey Tarashchansky ’08, viola; Amit Even-Tov ‘09, cello

Faculty Quartet-in-Residence, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award (2014); MKI Artists

Parker Quartet (2006 - 2008)
Daniel Chong ‘04 ‘08 MM, and Karen Kim ‘05 ‘08 MM, violin; Jessica Bodner ‘04 ‘08 MM, viola, Kee-hyun Kim ‘05 ‘08 MM, cello

Blodgett Artists-in-Residence, Harvard University; Grand Prize and Mozart Prize, Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition (20XX); Grammy Award Winner (2011 - Best Chamber Music Performance; Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award (2009); MKI Artists

Jupiter String Quartet (2004 - 2006)
Nelson Lee ‘04 GD and Meg Freivogel ’04 MM, violin, Liz Freivogel ‘02 MM ‘04 GD, viola, Daniel McDonough, cello

Artists-in-residence and faculty, University of Illinois; Avery Fisher Career Grant (2008); Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award (2007); Banff International String Quartet Competition (2004); Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2004); Jensen Artists

Biava Quartet (2002 - 2004)
Austin Hartman and Hyunsu Ko, violin; Mary Persin, viola; Jacob Braun, cello

Naumburg Chamber Music Award, Astral Artist National Auditions

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

Konzertdirektion Dr. Rudolf Goette; 1st Prize Borciani Competition  

Balourdet Quartet
Balourdet String Quartet performs Debussy