Winner, Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions
Winner of the prestigious 2012 Cleveland Quartet Award, the Jasper String Quartet has been hailed as “sonically delightful and expressively compelling” (The Strad) and “powerful” (The New York Times). The Classical Voice of North Carolina says they play “with sparkling vitality and great verve…polished, engaged, and in tune with one another.” Based in New Haven, Connecticut, the Jasper Quartet recently released two highly acclaimed albums for the Sono Luminus label, featuring the works of Beethoven, Schubert, and Aaron Jay Kernis. In conjunction with Astral Artists, the quartet was awarded a 2012 grant from Chamber Music America through its Residency Partnership Program. The Jaspers are the Ensemble-in-Residence at Classic Chamber Concerts in Naples, Florida.
After winning the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize in the 2008 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, the Jaspers went on to win the Grand Prize at the 2008 Coleman Competition, First Prize at Chamber Music Yellow Springs 2008, and the Silver Medal at both the 2008 and 2009 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. They were the first ensemble to win the Yale School of Music’s Horatio Parker Memorial Prize (2009), an award established in 1945 and selected by the faculty for “best fulfilling…lofty musical ideals. The Jasper String Quartet was a winner of Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions. They gave their Philadelphia recital debut on Astral’s series in 2010 and were featured on Astral’s series in September 2012, performing in the Mendelssohn Octet.
The Jaspers perform pieces that are emotionally significant to its members, ranging from Haydn and Beethoven to Berg, Ligeti, and living composers. They have commissioned four string quartets from today’s up-and-coming composers, and critics and audiences continue to commend their “programming savvy” (clevelandclassical.com). The Jaspers have performed throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, and Panama.
The Jasper Quartet has brought well over 100 outreach programs into schools and enjoys educational work of all kinds. During their Melba and Orville Roleffson Residency at the Banff Centre, the Jaspers embarked on a “guerilla chamber music” project, performing concerts in unusual settings around Alberta, Canada. More recently, the quartet has worked closely with the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts and with Astral Artists to bring outreach activities to schools, and recently completed the 2009-2011 Ernst C. Stiefel String Quartet Residency at Caramoor.
Formed at Oberlin Conservatory, the Jasper Quartet began pursuing its professional career in 2006 while studying with James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith as Rice University’s Graduate Quartet-in-Residence. In 2008, the quartet continued its training with the Tokyo String Quartet as Yale University’s Graduate Quartet-in-Residence.
The Jasper Quartet is named after Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada, and J and Rachel are married.
Updated: NOVEMBER 2012