Verona Quartet with Ilya Friedberg, piano
Summer Music 2019
Guest Chamber Music Recital
Jonathan Ong, violin
Dorothy Ro, violin
Abigail Rojansky, viola
Jonathan Dormand, cello
with Ilya Friedberg, piano
Beethoven: String Quartet in B-Flat Major, Op. 18 No. 6 (1800)
Szymanowski: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 56 (1927)
Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57 (1940)
About the Artists
Hailed by the New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble,” the Verona Quartet is one of the most decorated string quartets of its generation. In May of 2016, the quartet was selected by Musical America as New Artists of the Month, and since then the group has continued to garner international recognition for their “interpretive strength…, robust characterization, [and] commanding resonance” (Calgary Herald). With members representing four different nationalities, the Verona Quartet has shared their diversity with audiences worldwide from Wigmore Hall (London, U.K.), Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall (New York City), and Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), to Izumi Hall (Osaka, Japan), National Theatre (Abu Dhabi, UAE), and Melbourne Recital Hall (Melbourne, Australia). As one of the most compelling and multi-national young quartets today, the Verona Quartet rose to international attention after capturing more than a dozen top prizes at competitions across four continents. This summer, the Quartet returns for their fourth year as faculty of the Indiana University Summer String Academy. Committed to promoting diversity in classical music, the Verona Quartet regularly works to expand the canon by engaging with living composers as well as artists from beyond the classical tradition. The Quartet has commissioned, premiered, and championed works by Julia Adolphe, Sebastian Currier, and Atar Arad, as well as Michael Gilbertson, whose Quartet (a Verona commission) landed the composer as a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. Other notable collaborations include a recent performance art installation at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum entitled “Bows and Elbows” (Ana Prvacki) and a groundbreaking cultural exchange with traditional Emirati poets of the United Arab Emirates. From 2013 to 2015, Verona Quartet held the inaugural Graduate Quartet-in-Residence position at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where they formed and were mentored by the Pacifica Quartet as well as Atar Arad, Alexander Kerr, Eric Kim, and Ik-Hwan Bae. Subsequently the Quartet has held similar posts at The Juilliard School, as well as the New England Conservatory of Music, where they are currently in residence.
Pianist Ilya Friedberg has been described as an “artist who puts his listener to a musical magic” (Menahem Pressler). Friedberg’s music has taken him to Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Jerusalem Theater, Small Philharmonic Hall of St. Petersburg, and venues across United States, South America, Israel, and Europe. Pianist of the Bloomington Trio, Friedberg is a passionate chamber musician and a sought-after collaborator among the members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, and has worked with such notable artists as Carol Vaness, Timothy Noble, Mark Kaplan, Alissa Margulis, Alexander Buzlov, and the Pacifica Quartet. In fall 2017, Friedberg launched the inaugural Variation Project, a collaboration between Friedberg and 15 composers on the topic of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The project combines Friedberg’s two passions as pianist and composer. Friedberg’s own compositions include “Bohème Fantasy for Viola and Piano,” the “Breaking Silence” series, and “Six Studies on Extended Technique for Piano Solo.” A passionate educator, Friedberg has given master classes at Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel-Aviv University, Adamant Music School, and at Stellenbosch International Piano Competition, where he was invited as a jury member. He has worked as an assistant to pianist Menahem Pressler and is an active artist-faculty at Indiana University Summer String Academy and at the Sonad Project. Born in Moscow, Friedberg stepped into the world of music by watching his mother teach piano. He began formal studies at the Gnesin School for Gifted Children. After immigrating to Israel, he studied piano with Luisa Yoffi and was influenced by Lazar Bendersky and Vladimir Silva. He continued at Oberlin with Sanford Margolis and in 2018 earned the Doctor of Music degree at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with Menahem Pressler. Other influences include legendary jazz master David Baker, pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, and composers Claude Baker and Douglas Hofstadter. Featuring works of Reinecke and Rachmaninoff, Friedberg’s first CD, Dreams(with flutist Roy Amotz), is available on Amazon Streaming and iTunes.