“Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.” – Nikola Tesla
These words are the inspiration behind the Tesla Quartet’s vision. For the quartet, music is the conduit for this incredible, binding force, these “ties inseparable.” Through performance, teaching, and outreach, the Tesla Quartet strives to tap into this palpable feeling and create meaningful connections with their audiences.
Praised for their “superb capacity to find the inner heart of everything they play, regardless of era, style or technical demand” (The International Review of Music), the Tesla Quartet brings refinement and prowess to both new and established repertoire. Dubbed “technically superb” by The Strad, the Tesla Quartet recently took Second Prize as well as the Haydn Prize and Canadian Commission Prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition. The quartet has also garnered top prizes at numerous other 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.”
Having recently completed their tenure as the Marjorie Young Bell 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 London, Vienna, Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul. The 2017-18 season includes debut performances in Germany and Hungary, concerts across America, and a residency with the Quad City Visiting Artist Series.
Community involvement and outreach are integral parts of the Tesla Quartet’s mission, and the group has brought inspiring music to children’s hospitals, soup kitchens, libraries, retirement communities, and schools. In addition to their current work in North Carolina, the ensemble spent three years in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival’s Musical Odysseys Reaching Everyone program (M.O.R.E), providing lessons, master classes, workshops, and performances for young string players. The Quartet has also provided community enrichment programs to the Steamboat Springs and Craig, CO communities as Quartet-in-Residence at the Strings Music Festival, and coached a chamber music program in conjunction with the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras.
The Tesla Quartet was formed at The Juilliard School in 2008 and quickly established itself as one of the most promising young ensembles in New York, winning Second Prize at the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition only a few months after its inception. From 2009 to 2012 the quartet held a fellowship as the Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where they studied with the world-renowned Takács Quartet. They have also held fellowships at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival’s Center for Advanced Quartet Studies.
The Tesla Quartet is Ross Snyder (violin), Michelle Lie (violin), Edwin Kaplan (viola), and Serafim Smigelskiy (cello).
(534 words, July 2017, Ariel Artists. Please discard previously dated materials and contact Reynard Hulme, firstname.lastname@example.org, before making any alterations or cuts.)
Haydn, String Quartet in D major, Op.20, No. 4, Hob. III:34
I – Allegro di molto
II – Un poco adagio e affettuoso
III – Menuet alla zingarese
IV – Presto e scherzando
Linus Köhring, Seven Aphorisms (Live, 2015 International Haydn Competition)
Bartók, String Quartet No. 6, Burletta (Live, 2015 International Haydn Competition)
Dvořák, String Quartet Op. 105, III. Lento e molto cantabile (Live, 2015 International Haydn Competition)
Beethoven, String Quartet Op. 59 No. 3, I. Introduzione (Live, 2015 International Haydn Competition)
2018/19 Program Offerings
- Famous Last Words
Beethoven, Britten, Villa-Lobos
- Breaking with Tradition
Szymanowski, Debussy, Respighi
Pärt, Adams, Moussa, Glass
Current & Recent Programs
- 18/19 PREVIEW
With works by Prokofiev, Haydn, Pärt, Adams, Moussa, Glass, Szymanowski, Debussy, Respighi, Beethoven, Villa-Lobos, Britten
- Rhapsody and Idiosyncracy
Bolcom, Gershwin, Ljova, Ravel
- Beethoven and Bartók
Mozart, Kevin Puts, Sibelius
- Past or Present?
Gesualdo, Respighi, Matthias Pintscher
Projects & Collaborations
- K-5 Educational Offerings
Introduction to the String Quartet I. Introduce instruments with visual and musical examples Demonstrate range of each instrument and identify different strings Fun sound effects that instruments can create II. Musical Selections "Having Fu...
- How to Play in an Ensemble
This workshop is like a coaching or master class but focuses on learning to play together in an ensemble of any size. Attention is paid to communication, balance, cueing, blending sound, rehearsal etiquette, etc. The ensemble will have music prepared t...
- Impressionism in Art and Music
For more advanced art students, Tesla can discuss parallels between Impressionism in the visual arts and music with examples of Monet and Ravel. Topics include subject matter, light/shadow, color palette, tonality/modality, and compositional techniques.
- Master Class and Chamber Music Coaching
The Tesla Quartet is delighted to share their knowledge through teaching. A master class can last one to two hours, depending on the number of groups involved, and Tesla will give ensembles the opportunity to play a movement of their choice. Through de...
- Community Outreach and Education
The Tesla Quartet is happy to offer community enrichment programs for a variety of audiences. Tesla has an extensive background bringing their music to schools, libraries, retirement and assisted living centers, coffee shops, and even public transit te...