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The Juilliard String Quartet Heads West

Joel Smirnoff, (violin); Joel Krosnick, (cello); Samuel Rhodes, (viola); Ronald Copes, (violin). Photo: Nana Watanabe/SONY Classical.

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

May 08, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Herberger College of Fine Arts School of Music at Arizona State University advances its burgeoning Visiting Quartet Residency Program with three visits from the prestigious Juilliard String Quartet during the 2006-2007 season. Initiated in 2005, the program is the first of its type to integrate visiting artists with a comprehensive chamber music curriculum in a university setting.

"What makes our program unique is that we bring in a different professional string quartet each year and structure the chamber music curriculum around that particular quartet's strengths and interests," said Jonathan Swartz, artistic director of the Visiting Quartet Residency Program.

During visits to the university, the quartet works intensively with students on themed projects, while presenting a series of demonstrations and lectures, performances, open rehearsals and master classes.

"The visits are incredibly intense, creating an environment of immersion with the highest level of artistry in the field," Swartz said. "Our students also benefit from the relationships they develop with the visiting quartet throughout the year."

The pioneer of this visiting residency program, Swartz believes this program complements ASU President Michael Crow's vision for ASU as the New American University, providing an education tying together excellence, inclusion and impact. Students receive a chamber-music education from the best in the business, while using their developed skills to engage the community, welcoming the public to the ASU campus, as well as performing outreach activities at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale.

During the 2005-2006 season, the St. Lawrence String Quartet helped launch the Visiting Quartet Residency Program with visits in October, January and March.

"It was quite a remarkable event," said Geoff Nuttall, violinist for the St. Lawrence String Quartet. "Thanks to Jonathan, it was so magnificently organized - it was an all around amazing experience for us."

The Juilliard String Quartet will be at ASU during November 2006, and January and April 2007, performing concerts on Nov. 16, Jan. 24 and April 5. Most instructional activities and all concerts are free and open to the public. The Juilliard String Quartet has been known for more than half a century as the exemplary American string quartet - performing a wide-ranging repertoire of some 500 works all over the world. The Juilliard String Quartet serves as Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School and is comprised of Joel Smirnoff, (violinist); Ronald Copes (violinist); Samuel Rhodes, (violist); and Joel Krosnick, (cellist).

For more information on ASU's Visiting Quartet Residency Program, please visit:

The School of Music in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University is ranked 19 th in the country and eighth among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report. More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 800 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each year. To learn more about the School of Music, visit