Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violins
Jinsun Hong, viola Alex Cox, cello
Distinctive among today’s young string quartets, the Omer Quartet won First Prize in the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and holds the Helen F. Whitaker Chamber Music Chair of YCA. It makes debuts next season in the Peter Jay Sharp Concert of YCA in New York at Merkin Concert Hall, with additional support from the Summis Auspiciis Fund, as well as in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center.
At the Young Concert Artists Auditions, the Omer Quartet received four special Performance Prizes: the Tri-I Noon Recitals Prize in New York at Rockefeller University, the Tryon (NC) Concert Association Prize, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, and the Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series Prize. It has also received Top Prize at the 2017 Premio Paolo Borciani Competition in Italy, the Grand Prize and Gold Medal at the 2013 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Second Prize at the 2017 Trondheim International Competition in Norway.
The Omer Quartet’s busy summer of 2018 includes serving as Chamber Ensemble in Residence at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and performances for the Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts Series, Caroga Lake Music Festival, Honest Brook Music Festival, Tannery Pond Concerts and Kimberton Summer Arts Festival. In addition to its New York and Washington, DC debuts, upcoming concerts during the 2018-19 season include performances throughout the U.S. for the Ellingwood Concert Series, Historic Portsmouth Chamber Music Series, Berea College, Caramoor Center, St. Louis Concert Series, Port Washington Library, Brookhaven at Lexington, Fox Hill Village, Brooksby Village, Evergreen Museum and Library, Levine School of Music, Hayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series and the St. Lawrence Emerging String Quartet Residency. Abroad, the Quartet performs at Chamber Music Abu Dhabi.
The Quartet has performed with internationally renowned artists such as Clive Greensmith, Eugene Drucker, Cho-Liang Lin, the Assad Brothers and YCA alumnus the Borromeo String Quartet, and collaborated with composers including Sean Shepherd and Perry Goldstein. It participated in the Great Lakes Chamber and Yellow Barn Music Festivals, the McGill International String Quartet Academy, the Ravinia Steans Institute, and the Perlman Music Program.
Committed to community engagement, the Quartet devotes time to creating original and interactive programs. With a grant by The Boston Foundation it performed in homeless shelters and drug rehabilitation centers in the area. It also completed a fellowship with Music for Food to aid local hunger relief, through a musician-led initiative directed by Kim Kashkashian. Hoping to spread the organization’s mission, the Quartet is initiating a Music for Food concert series in the Washington, D.C. area as recipient of a Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grant.
Following study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Omer Quartet completed a graduate residency at the New England Conservatory, where its members gave coachings and masterclasses and worked closely with Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, and Soovin Kim. The Quartet is currently the Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, where it works with Katherine Murdock and David Salness, and the 2018-19 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at New York’s Caramoor Center for Music and Arts.