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String quartet off to New York

Astring quartet that includes Guelph native David Samuel has won a prestigious fellowship for residency at The Juilliard School in New York City during the 2009-10 season.

Samuel, who at one point took viola lessons from Guelph’s Henry Janzen, plays in the Afiara String Quartet along with violinists Valerie Li and Yuri Cho and cellist Adrian Fung.

The quartet served as teaching assistants to the world-renowned Alexander String Quartet at San Francisco State University and released its debut CD this spring on the Foghorn Classics label, a news release said. In 2008, it won the Concert Artists Guild International Competition and also claimed a top prize at the Munich ARD International Music Competition.

In Manhattan, the quartet will perform a Lincoln Centre recital during the 2009-10 season and its members will have lessons with members of the Juilliard String Quartet. They will also assist the Juilliard String Quartet with ensemble and chamber music instruction, as well as the school’s first-year string quartet survey course.

The Afiara String Quartet, whose name derives from a Spanish word for “trust,” brings urban elements into its outreach activities and “bridges the gap between Haydn and hip-hop,” the release said.

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