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Julius Quartet Named Winner of 2017 Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts

Chamber music group will be in residence August 2017-May 2019, present free concerts

Julius Quartet

The Julius Quartet, an award-winning New England chamber music ensemble, has been named the winner of the 2017 Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. The group will be in residence at SMU from August 2017 through May 2019 and will present two free concerts at the Meadows School in the 2017-18 season; times will be announced later this summer.

The quartet, comprised of violinists Hyun Jeong Helen Lee and David Do, violist John Batchelder and cellist Byron Hogan, formed in 2012 and held a residency as The Boston Conservatory’s Honors String Quartet. They most recently served as the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, where they worked intensively with the celebrated Shanghai Quartet. The Julius Quartet was awarded first prize at the first annual MA-ASTA (Massachusetts American String Teachers Association) String Quartet/Quintet Competition by unanimous vote, and was nominated for the Harvard Musical Association’s Arthur Foote Award.

The quartet made its Carnegie Hall debut in March 2016, and has performed recitals in various venues such as Bargemusic (Brooklyn, N.Y.), The Moss Arts Center (Blacksburg, Va.) and the Museum of Fine Arts and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The group has also been featured at numerous festivals and has worked with noted musicians including Shmuel Ashkenasi, Michael Tree, Gerhard Schulz, and members of the Juilliard, Emerson, and Tokyo string quartets, among many others. In addition, the group members are strong advocates for outreach events and educational workshops and have worked extensively with schoolchildren and at-risk youth in New England. More information may be found at the group’s website.

The Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence, launched in 2015, is a two-year fellowship available to chamber music groups internationally. It is open to groups with an average member age of 30 or younger; the group must reside in or relocate to Dallas-Fort Worth while serving as fellows. The fellowship includes a $60,000 annual stipend for two years; an additional $7,500 in the second year to support a self-directed, career-advancing project (e.g. a commission, recording, concert tour, etc.); participation in master classes and workshops with visiting artists; access to rehearsal space on the SMU campus; extensive performance opportunities in Dallas; and more.

“We are deeply honored and excited about joining the SMU community as the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence,” said Julius Quartet violist John Batchelder. “The program’s commitment to cultivating an innovative ensemble for the challenges of the 21st century, in addition to the artistic and professional mentorship of the renowned Meadows faculty, is something we greatly look forward to as we continue to develop as an ensemble that cherishes the important principles of community and the meaningful traditions of chamber music.”

The Peak Fellowship program is coordinated by award-winning violinist Aaron Boyd, newly appointed director of chamber music at SMU Meadows and a member of the Escher String Quartet. Boyd will help the group members plan artistic and pedagogical goals to place them on a sustainable, differentiated career path after the completion of the fellowship.

The fellowship was made possible by a generous gift from a graduate of SMU. “Thanks to this support, the Music Division has been able to play an important role in helping launch the careers of fine young chamber music groups, including the Cézanne Quartet and now the Julius Quartet,” said David Mancini, director of the Meadows Division of Music. “We are excited to welcome the Julius Quartet to Meadows, and we look forward to the great opportunities they will bring to our students, faculty and the entire SMU community.”

The Cézanne Quartet, the inaugural winner of the Peak Fellowship, concluded its two-year residency in May 2017. Members say the fellowship has provided a significant career boost for the group.

“The Peak Fellowship has allowed us to transition from students to young professionals,” said Cézanne Quartet cellist Elizabeth White, who earned a Bachelor of Music at Meadows in 2015. “By working with the renowned Escher String Quartet during their residency at Meadows, we have learned what it is like to be a professional ensemble and what it takes to get there. We have been able to collaborate with many of the exceptional SMU music faculty and have presented many of our own concert programs. The Peak Fellowship has also generously given us the opportunity to record our debut album featuring three complete works for string quartet. Most of all, it has given us the freedom to explore a career in music under the guidance of some incredibly talented mentors.”

For more information about the Peak Fellowship, visit here.

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