Watch the Ariel Quartet collaborate with CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows Cristian Diaz and Denielle Wilson during this upcoming virtual performance.

Arts lovers from around the world are invited to tune in to the next episode of CCMONSTAGE Online at 7:30 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The premiere will stream simultaneously on CCM’s websiteYouTube channel and Facebook page.

Titled Joining Hands, this 30-minute-long virtual concert features CCM string quartet-in-residence the Ariel Quartet collaborating with master’s degree students Cristian Diaz and Denielle Wilson, who are also both second-year participants in CCM’s innovative Diversity Fellowship initiative with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

To open the concert, Wilson and Diaz – a cellist and a violist respectively – join the Ariel Quartet on the stage of CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall for a performance of the first movement of Johannes Brahms’ String Sextet in B-flat Major.

The Ariel Quartet – which is comprised of CCM faculty members Alexandra “Sasha” Kazovsky, violin; Amit Even-Tov, cello; Gershon Gerchikov, violin; and Jan Grüning, viola – then perform the third movement of Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in D Major.

For the finale of this digital program, the Ariel Quartet are rejoined by Diaz for a performance of the fourth movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s String Quintet in G Minor.

Like other episodes in CCM’s new virtual performance series, Joining Hands also features commentary from CCM students and faculty. All episodes of CCMONSTAGE Online will be digitally streamed for free. After the premiere broadcast, each installment in this ongoing series will remain available for on-demand viewing on CCM’s websiteYouTube channel and Facebook page.

Video production by MasseyGreenAVP, LLC. Additional footage provided by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This digital performance series is made possible by support from CCMONSTAGE Online Broadcast Sponsors CCMpower and ArtsWave, and CCMONSTAGE Online Production Sponsors Dr. & Mrs. Carl G. Fischer.


The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship

A promotional image for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship program featuring two student participants playing with the CSO under the banner: Bravos Without Barriers.

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship provides an unparalleled learning experience for graduate-level violin, viola, violoncello and double bass players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music.

Participants get paid to perform with the acclaimed Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra while completing your two-year graduate degree at CCM with full scholarship support plus stipend. Learn more


Streaming Premiere

7:30 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

Performance Details

Repertoire

  • Johannes Brahms: String Sextet in B-flat Major No. 1, Op. 18 (1860)
    • I. Allegro ma non troppo
  • Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet in D Major No. 3, Op. 44, No. 1 (1838)
    • III. Andante espressivo ma con moto
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: String Quintet in G Minor No. 4, K. 516 (1787)
    • IV. Adagio – Allegro

Performers

The Ariel Quartet

A portrait of the four members of CCM string quartet-in-residence the Ariel Quartet.

Distinguished by its virtuosity, probing musical insight, and impassioned, fiery performances, the Ariel Quartet has garnered critical praise worldwide over the span of nearly two decades. Formed in Israel as teenagers at the Jerusalem Academy Middle School of Music and Dance and celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2020-21, the Ariel was named recipient of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, granted by Chamber Music America in recognition of artistic achievement and career support. Since 2012 the members of the ensemble have served as the faculty quartet-in-residence at CCM since, where they direct the chamber-music program and present a concert series in addition to maintaining a busy touring schedule in the United States and abroad.

The ensemble has dedicated much of its artistic energy and musical prowess to the groundbreaking Beethoven quartets, and has performed the complete Beethoven cycle on five occasions throughout the United States and Europe. The Quartet has written a powerful and comprehensive series of program notes on the sixteen quartets, open to the public on their website. The Ariel Quartet regularly collaborates with today’s eminent and rising young musicians and ensembles, including pianist Orion Weiss, violist Roger Tapping, cellist Paul Katz, and the American, Pacifica and Jerusalem String Quartets. The Quartet has toured with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and performed frequently with pianists Jeremy Denk and Menahem Pressler. In addition, the Ariel served as quartet-in-residence for the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival and the Perlman Music Program, as well as the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Festival.

Formerly the resident ensemble of the Professional String Quartet Training Program at the New England Conservatory, from which the players obtained their undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Ariel was mentored extensively by acclaimed string quartet giants Walter Levin and Paul Katz. It has won numerous international prizes in addition to the Cleveland Quartet Award: Grand Prize at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Székely Prize for the performance of Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4, and Third Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition. About its performances at the Banff competition, the American Record Guide described the group as “a consummate ensemble gifted with utter musicality and remarkable interpretive power” and noted, in particular, their playing of Beethoven’s monumental Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, as “the pinnacle of the competition.”

The Ariel Quartet has received significant support for its studies in the United States from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, Dov and Rachel Gottesman, the Legacy Heritage Fund and the A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation. The members of the Ariel Quartet are graduates of the Young Musician’s unit of the Jerusalem Music Centre. Visit the Ariel Quartet’s website to learn more.

Cristian Diaz

A portrait of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Cristian Diaz.

Cristian Diaz is a violist from Colombia who holds a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Colombia’s National University-Conservatory of Music, and a master’s degree in chamber music from Kent State University. His former professors include members of the acclaimed Miami String Quartet, Keith Robinson and Cathy Meng Robinson, and his viola professor Joanna Patterson Zakany, member of the prestigious Cleveland Orchestra.

Diaz has been part of many orchestras across the globe, and was runner up in the Kent State University concerto competition (2017), he was selected to become part of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Academy 2018 in Dortmund, Germany, winner of the inaugural Diversity Fellowship of the CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and is also a member of the Efferus String Quartet.

He has attended the XI Cartagena Music Festival (Colombia, 2017), the first and second International Festival of String Quartets (Colombia, 2015 and 2016), III Bogota’s Viola Festival (Colombia, 2015), Santa Catarina Music Festival FEMUSC (Brazil, 2012) and also the Kent Blossom Music Festival (2019). Diaz began his master’s degree at CCM in the fall of 2019 where he studies with Professor Catharine Lees.

Denielle Wilson

A portrait of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Denielle Wilson.

Denielle Wilson is a cellist from Lithonia, Georgia. A former resident of Evanston, Illinois, she has played in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and maintains a studio of private cello students. She completed an undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 2017, having majored in cello performance and music education.

Wilson’s musical mentors have included Hans Jørgen Jensen, Joel Dallow and Nan Kimberling. She has spent summers at the Meadowmount School of Music, Bowdoin Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Grant Park Music Festival.

Wilson plays in a piano trio with her siblings, and they enjoy sharing classical and religious music with their local community.


About the Series

CCMONSTAGE Online is a series of free digital concerts and performing arts presentations showcasing the unparalleled artistry and expertise of CCM’s students, faculty and staff. Enjoy a sneak peek at a few of our upcoming episodes:

The series has recently been featured by Broadway WorldCincinnati Business CourierCincinnati CityBeatCincinnati EnquirerCincinnati MagazineCincinnati Public RadioLocal 12 WKRC-TVMovers and MakersMusical America and The Violin Channel.

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