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Argus Quartet


April 15, 2018

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

Photo of Argus Quartet

Argus Quartet, pictured above, left to right:
Joann Whang, cello; Dana Kelley, viola;
Jason Issokson, violin and Clara Kim, violin.   Photo by Ben Gibbs.

To open our 32nd Season, the Argus Quartet will perform for our Stamford audience under the auspices of our friends at the Juilliard School. Praised for playing with “supreme melodic control and total authority” and “decided dramatic impact” (Calgary Herald), the Argus Quartet has quickly emerged as one of today’s most dynamic and versatile young ensembles, winning First Prize at both the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, and the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition.

Argus is dedicated to reinvigorating the audience-performer relationship through innovative concerts and diverse programming. The Quartet’s core mission is to connect with and build up a community of engaged listeners, with the strong belief that today’s ensembles can honor the storied chamber music traditions of our past while forging a new path forward. In that spirit, the ensemble’s repertoire includes not just master works of the chamber music canon, but also a wide range of pieces by living composers.

In the Fall of 2017, the Argus Quartet began a two-year appointment as the Graduate Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School, where they will work closely with the Juilliard String Quartet. In addition, Juilliard presents Argus’ Lincoln Center recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in May 2018. From 2015-17 the Quartet served as the Fellowship Quartet in Residence at the Yale School of Music (as the first ensemble mentored by the Brentano String Quartet in that capacity), and during the 2016-17 season, they served as the Ernst Stiefel Quartet in Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.

As passionate advocates for the music of our time, Argus served as the Quartet in Residence at New Music on the Point under the guidance of the JACK Quartet, and was also selected as one of three ensembles to perform works from Kronos Quartet’s “Fifty for the Future” commissioning project at Carnegie Hall. Recent commissions include new quartets by Donald Crockett, composer and GRAMMY nominee Eric Guinivan, the 2014 Hermitage Prize winner Thomas Kotcheff, and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Juri Seo. The Quartet has received grants from Chamber Music America and the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in support of their commissioning efforts, and have also performed works by some of today’s most important composers: Augusta Read Thomas, Garth Knox, Jason Eckardt, Christopher Theofanidis, Martin Bresnick, Andrew Norman, and many others.

Recent and upcoming performances internationally include appearances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall, Roulette, the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival, Bang on a Can at the Noguchi Museum, the Hear Now Music Festival, Providence College, University of Michigan, James Madison University’s Contemporary Music Festival, Princeton University, the Shalin Liu Performance Center at Rockport Music, and the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam.

The Argus Quartet has performed at a number of leading music festivals, including the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Birdfoot Festival, Cello Biënnale Amsterdam, and Music Academy of the West, and has played alongside many of today’s leading chamber musicians, including the Brentano Quartet and David Shifrin.

Education and outreach are an important part of the Argus Quartet’s mission. The quartet has worked with students through residencies and masterclasses at the Yale University, James Madison University, Rockport Music, the Milken School, the Young Musicians Foundation, California State University Long Beach, Los Angeles City College, and Princeton University.

To read more about the group and the individual artists and to listen to samples of their work, please visit their Web site at We also recommend an amusing introduction to the group from the Chicago radio station WFMT, which also features a video of the group in performance.


April 15, 2018

Argus Quartet

Clara Kim, violin
Jason Issokson, violin
Dana Kelley, viola
Joann Whang, cello

Felix Mendelssohn
String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Opus 12

Augusta Read Thomas
CHI for string quartet (2017)


Josquin des Prez
Josquiniana (arr. Charles Wuorinen)

Witold Lutoslawski
String Quartet

Program subject to change.

Admission is at the door only 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. Refreshments are served after the concert catered by A Taste of Europe Restaurant.

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

Winner of the Third International Solo Violin Competition in Cremona, Italy, violinist Clara Kim’s adventurous and collaborative spirit has led her to work with some today’s most influential composers. Clara has performed works by Donald Crockett, Michael Gordon, Grammy Award- winning Stephen Hartke, Andrew Norman, Kaija Saariaho, and Jacob TV – and has also collaborated with numerous young composers on the creation of new solo pieces written for her. Concerto highlights include Edward Nesbit’s Violin Concerto with Montreal’s Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and the premieres of concertos by Jordan Nelson and Patrick O’Malley with Thornton Edge. Clara holds degrees from New England Conservatory, Tufts University (English Literature), the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

Violinist Jason Issokson has performed as a soloist with orchestras across the world. Highlights include concerto engagements with the Fort Worth Symphony, Aspen Concert Orchestra, Waco Symphony, Great Falls Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra di Teatro San Carlo, and the Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia. Jason’s playing has garnered numerous awards including the top prize at the International Violin Competition ‘Andrea Postacchini,’ third prize at the International Alberto Curci Violin Competition, and the prize for best performance of a commissioned work at the International Max Rostal Competition in Berlin. Jason studied with Midori at both the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Southern California.

Violist Dana Kelley, a top prizewinner in the Sphinx Music Competition and the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, recently completed her fellowship in Ensemble ACJW - a performance and teaching program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute. She received her Bachelor’s of Music from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, studying violin with Cornelia Heard and viola with Kathryn Plummer. Dana has attended Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, the Lucerne Academy, the Schiermonnikoog International Chamber Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, Aspen Music Festival, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. She has performed as principal of Symphony in C, as a member of the New World Symphony and the Nashville Symphony, and frequently joins Orpheus, A Far Cry, and The Knights chamber orchestras. Dana completed her Master’s of Music degree at the New England Conservatory as a student of Kim Kashkashian.

First Prize winner at the Amsterdam Cello Biënnale Competition, cellist Joann Whang has performed extensively throughout Europe and the United States. Joann has performed with Dutch contemporary ensemble, Asko|Schönberg, the Vienna-based Solaris Duo, Trio de Kooning, and cellist Annsi Karttunen. Recent solo engagements include performances with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the NJO New Music Ensemble, and the Dutch Youth String Orchestra. A champion of contemporary music, Joann has worked with some of the most influential composers and new music performers across the globe, including Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, Martijn Padding, Tristan Murail, and Beat Furrer. Joann studied with Ronald Leonard at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, Aldo Parisot at the Yale School of Music, and Michel Strauss at the Royal Conservatorium of The Hague.

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