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Altius Quartet Takes Silver Medal at International Fischoff Chamber Music Competition

Just weeks after taking first place at the Coltman, SMU alumni ensemble wins the silver and $3,000 at the Fischoff Competition

Altius Quartet took the Silver Medal in the Senior Strings Division at the 2014 Fischoff Competition. Left to right: Sercan Danis, Andrew Krimm, Andrew Giordano and Zachary Reaves. Photo courtesy of Josef Samuel, official Fischoff photographer.

Fresh from a first-place win at the Coltman Chamber Competition in Austin in late April, the Altius Quartet has won the silver medal at the prestigious Fischoff Competition, held at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., May 10-11, 2014.

The Fischoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the United States. During this year’s 41st event, 48 ensembles from the U.S. and abroad competed in the wind or string categories. Since its founding in 1973, more than 6,600 musicians have participated, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education.

All members of the Altius Quartet are recent graduates of SMU Meadows School of the Arts. Members include violinist Sercan Danis (B.M. Violin Performance ’11 and Performer’s Diploma ’13); violinist Andrew Giordano (M.M. ’13); violist Andrew Krimm (Performer’s Diploma ’13); and cellist Zachary Reaves (B.M. Cello Performance ’11 and Performer’s Diploma ’13). The quartet is coached by SMU Meadows Artist-in-Residence and Director of Chamber Music Matt Albert; Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Emanuel Borok; and Professor of Cello Andrés Díaz.

The Altius Quartet is currently an Ensemble-in-Residence at Meadows School of the Arts.

Sam Holland, director of the Division of Music at Meadows School of the Arts and dean ad interim of the school, says the Fischoff is one of the largest and, arguably, the most prestigious chamber music competition in the world today. “A glance at previous laureates includes eighth blackbird, the Miró Quartet, the Jupiter Quartet—all of whom (among many others) have gone on to significant and sustained careers,” he says. “A silver medal for the Altius Quartet at the Fischoff is another step towards placing music at Meadows on the national map as a major music school. It proves that we can compete with the very best.

“We’re grateful to Martha Peak (’50) and her family for supporting chamber music at SMU by helping us establish our first-ever graduate ensemble-in-residence. And we’re grateful to the extraordinary faculty—Albert, Borok, and Díaz—who coached and mentored the young Altius Quartet through their residence.”

Prior to winning at the Fischoff and the Coltman, the quartet also took first place at the 2013 Plowman Chamber Music Competition in Columbia, Mo., last spring.

Based in Dallas, the Altius Quartet is known for its passionate performances, unified sound and its ventures into both classical and contemporary music. They regularly perform in the Dallas area in locations such as the Klyde Warren Park in Dallas’s downtown arts district and in local cafés and pubs, and have performed around Texas and Oklahoma. Examples of their work can be heard on their website by clicking on the “Media” tab.

Photos and comments by the quartet can be seen on their Facebook page.

More information about SMU Meadows School of the Arts music ensembles can be found here.

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