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Presenting the

Tesla Quartet


June 18, 2017

3:00 PM at
Stamford United Methodist Church
88 Main St, Stamford NY Calendar General Info Contact FoM Donate Founders & VIPs Concert Archive

Photo of the Tesla Quartet

Tesla Quartet, pictured above, left to right:

Edwin Kaplan, viola; Serafim Smigelskiy, cello;
Michelle Yeunhae Lie, violin and Ross Snyder, violin.

Dubbed “technically superb” by The Strad, the Tesla Quartet has garnered top prizes at numerous international competitions, including the Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Third Prize and the Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work at the 6th International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna, and Third Prize at the 2012 London International String Quartet Competition. The London Evening Standard called their rendition of the Debussy Quartet “a subtly coloured performance that balanced confidently between intimacy and extraversion.”

Newly appointed as the String Quartet-in-Residence at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, the Tesla Quartet also holds a community residency in Hickory, North Carolina that includes performances and workshops at local colleges, universities and in the public school system, as well as a dedicated chamber music series. The quartet performs regularly across North America, with recent international appearances in Austria, France and their debut at London’s Wigmore Hall. The 2016-17 season includes debut performances in China at the Beijing National Center for the Arts, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, and at the Sejong Performing Arts Center in Seoul, South Korea.

Inspired by Nikola Tesla's words, “Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable,” the Tesla Quartet views music as this incredible, binding force, and strives to create meaningful connections with their audiences. The Tesla Quartet is Ross Snyder (violin), Michelle Lie (violin), Edwin Kaplan (viola), and Serafim Smigelskiy (cello).

Visit their Web site at to read more about the group and to hear samples of their work.

An avid chamber musician, Ross Snyder is the founding first violinist of the Tesla Quartet, which formed at the Juilliard School in 2008 and recently completed its tenure as the Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder. A fellow of the 2007 and 2011 Norfolk Chamber Music Festivals, he began studying chamber music with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at age twelve, and at age sixteen he and three of his colleagues formed the Callisto String Quartet. For three years the CSQ performed outreach concerts at various venues in Pittsburgh. Ross has also studied with members of such world-renowned ensembles as the Borromeo, Guarneri, Juilliard, Miró, St. Lawrence, Takács, Tokyo and Vermeer string quartets.

A versatile performer, Ross has served as principal violinist with the Boulder Bach Festival and recently performed the Brahms Violin Concerto with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra. In March, 2008, Ross won Second Prize in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition. He is also a first prize winner of the Dorothy J. Bales ’41 Violin Competition at the New England Conservatory and was awarded the use of a violin by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. Other competitions include participation in the 2005 Concours International de Violon Jacques Thibaud in Paris, France.

Ross’s extensive orchestral experience began age ten, when he joined various youth orchestras in the Pittsburgh area. Later orchestral projects include performances at Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He spent the summer of 2008 serving as an assistant concertmaster of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland and also participated in the VFO’s 2008 European tour to Milan, Luzern, Berlin, and Madrid. During his studies at Juilliard he served as one of the leaders of the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, and he toured China with the Juilliard Orchestra in 2008.

Having recently received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ross received his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Joel Smirnoff. He received his undergraduate degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he studied with Malcolm Lowe.

Ross Snyder plays on a violin by Joseph Rashid from 1937 thanks to a generous loan from the Joseph Rashid Foundation.

As an active performer in comprehensive musical genres, Michelle Yeunhae Lie has been featured in diverse performances throughout the country. Currently the second violinist of the Tesla Quartet, she was a founding member of the Iannis String Quartet and received the Special Recognition award from the Plowman Chamber Music Competition in 2008. She has performed as first violinist with Aeolus String Quartet (Silver Medal winner of Fischoff Competition 2011) during its residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in the summer of 2010. Her other chamber music festival appearances include two fellowships at the Norfolk Yale Chamber Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, St. Lawrence String quartet seminar, and Sunflower Music Festival. Her particular interest in chamber music was greatly influenced by such world-renowned ensembles as the Tackács Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Miró Quartet, Artis Quartet, and Borromeo String Quartet.

Although her musical education in violin started at the age of 14 from the influence of her vocalist father, she was quickly recognized through various performances and awards. 1st prize winner of the 250th Anniversary of J.S. Bach Violin Competition in Seoul, 2nd Prize winner and Audience choice of the Ekstrand Competition she was featured as a soloist with various orchestras in South Korea and the United States. Also, recently Michelle received the Mrs. Hong Pham recognition award from Indiana University to celebrate her active role in premiering modern works. Known for her in-depth musical projects, Michelle performed a complete Beethoven Violin Sonata cycle in Kansas City in June, 2011. She also was featured at the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) conference at the University of Florida in 2011 as well as the Schumann Society in Indiana in 2010. As an orchestral performer, she has appeared as a substitute with the Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall and on tour in Carnegie Hall 2006 - 2010. She has held concertmaster positions at various orchestras in Indiana, Ohio and Colorado at the Boulder Symphony Orchestra.

Michelle Yeunhae Lie received her Bachelor’s Degree from Dankook University, where she studied with Deashik Kang, and her Master’s Degree from the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Eric Rosenblith. She also holds a Professional Studies certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music with William Preucil. While she is performing with the Tesla Quartet, Michelle is also pursuing her Doctor of Music Degree with Mark Kaplan at Indiana University, where she was an Associate Violin Performance Instructor 2008-11.


June 18, 2017

Tesla Quartet

Ross Snyder, violin
Michelle Yeunhae Lie, violin;
Edwin Kaplan, viola
Serafim Smigelskiy, cello

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
String Quartet in A Major, Op. 9, No. 6

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928)
String Quartet No. 1 “The Kreutzer Sonata”


Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
String Quartet in F Major

Program subject to change

Admission is at the door by suggested donation of $12 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and students and anyone under 13 years of age is admitted at no charge. For complete details see our General Information page.

Thank you to all of our donors and especially to the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for your generous support which makes this concert possible.

As the violist of the award-winning Tesla Quartet, Edwin Kaplan continues to forge a versatile identity as a recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. He has performed on concert series across two continents, including Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, the La Jolla Chamber Music Society, the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., Lyrica Chamber Music, Tanglewood, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, the Burlington Ensemble of Vermont, at the Banff Centre in Alberta, as well at London's historic Wigmore Hall. He has collaborated with such esteemed artists as Paul Coletti, Steven Dann, Larry Dutton, Richard O'Neill, Walter Ponce, Scott Yoo and the American String Quartet. Edwin will serve as principal viola of the Western Piedmont Symphony in Hickory, NC, for the 2015-16 season.

Pushing his boundaries beyond the traditional repertoire, Edwin is equally at home in new music, having participated in numerous premieres, including Andy Akiho's Lignius. In 2013, he performed a unique arrangement of Pink Floyd's “Dark Side of the Moon” for amplified string quartet and voice at Los Angeles' Levitt Pavilion to critical acclaim, and followed on that success with a West Coast tour featuring music by the Beatles in 2014.

Edwin is proud to serve his community as an advocate for music education. He is currently on the faculty of the Thurnauer School of Music, directed by Dorothy Roffman, where he instructs arts-focused teenagers in violin and viola performance.

Through his work at Thurnauer, as well as with the Shattered Glass Ensemble and the Tesla Quartet, Edwin performs outreach at community primary schools and has given master classes at universities in Georgia and Missouri. Edwin believes strongly in music education at all levels and has even participated in adult amateur chamber music workshops at Kneisel Hall of Blue Hill, ME, where he's brought in-depth coaching and musical training to adults for whom music is a passion and hobby.

Edwin Kaplan holds a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma from the Yale University School of Music, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Lawrence Dutton.

Serafim Smigelskiy has established himself as one of today's most promising young cellists. He appeared as soloist with the Juilliard School Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra, Jupiter Chamber Players, Argento Chamber Ensemble, ECCE, ArsViva Strings Orchestra, Axiom contemporary music ensemble, Dal Niente and Quartet Accorda. Serafim is currently a cellist at the criticly acclaimed Tesla Quartet, as well as serving as artistic director at ECCE ( New York/Boston-based chamber ensemble specializing in contemporary classical music.

Inspired by contemporary art, Serafim performs a wide repertoire of modern music and collaborates with ensembles of new music. Working directly with such composers as Georg Friedrich Haas, Chaya Czernowin, Mathias Pintscher, Magnus Lindberg and Steve Reich led to performances of their music at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Lincoln Center, Harvard University’s Radcliff Hall, Moscow Philharmonic Hall, and others. Smigelskiy also has a keen interest in historic performance practice and has been extensively studying baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai at the Juilliard Historical Performance Department. As a baroque cellist, he has performed alongside William Christie, Robert Mealy, Nicholas McGegan with Juilliard 415 and Sebastians ensembles. Serafim has studied and collaborated with numerious prominent musicians, such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Natalia Gutman, Laurence Lesser, Colin Carr, Martin Storey, Richard Aaron, Eric Rosenblith, Ben Sayevich, Stanislav Ioudenitch, William Grant Naboré, Vassily Sinaisky, Julius Berger, Alban Gerhardt, Giya Kancheli, Alexey Liubimov, Daniel Muller Shott, Nicholas Kitchen, Peter Stumpf and many others.

Born in 1985 in St. Petersburg, Russia, he began study of cello at the age of 6 with Galina Korolyóva. At 15, he entered the Rimsky-Korsakov College where he was a student of Konstantin Kucherov. During this period he received several awards from international competitions and foundations, including the First Prize of the Russian State's Russian Music Competition, Third Prize in the International Mravinsky Cello Competition, and Second Prize in the Mussorgsky String Competition. In 2004 he entered the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, where he studied with Alexey Massarsky. During that period he studied with Alexander Richter of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic String Quartet and Josif Levinson of the Taneyev String Quartet. Smigelskiy also was a cellist with the eminent Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet, chamber orchestra Divertissement and the St. Petersburg Soloists artist management organisation. Before moving to New York City in 2010, he received the Graduate Certificate at Park University International Center for Music where he was student of Martin Storey. Serafim Smigelskiy has graduated from The Juilliard School studying with Richard Aaron (cello) and Sylvia Rosenberg (chamber music).

His other interests include photography, reading and traveling.

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