The Julius Quartet and Ukrainian soprano Yelena Dyachek celebrate the 225th birthday of one of the most beloved composers of all time, Franz Schubert.
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Hyun Jeong Helen Lee, first violin
David Do, second violin
John Batchelder, viola
Sebastian Kozub, cello
Characterized as “the captivating young string quartet” (The Bennington Banner), the Julius Quartet has cultivated a distinguished voice since its formation in 2012. As passionate chamber musicians, the quartet strives to spread the values of chamber music to diverse communities in addition to presenting their diacritic expression within the music. Swiftly rising to critical acclaim, the group was awarded First Prize at the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, First Prize at the first annual MA-ASTA String Quartet/Quintet Competition by unanimous vote, and was nominated for the Harvard Musical Association’s Arthur Foote Award. The quartet’s expressive personality, commended for leaving audiences “mesmerized by its resonant sound” (The Collegiate Times), has led to performances all over the North America in various venues such as Bing Concert Hall, Bargemusic, the Shalin Liu Performing Arts Center, The Moss Arts Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In February of 2019, the quartet collaborated with The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and award-winning Texas composer Jesus Martinez in tribute to both the Museum’s thirtieth anniversary and the fifty-fifth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, performing a newly commissioned work “The Sixth Floor” – a stirring journey from the darkest days of 1963 to a deeper understanding of the enduring legacy of President Kennedy and what lies beyond. Cherishing the collaborative essence of chamber music, the group has shared in numerous collaborations with celebrated artists such as Andres Cardenes, Aaron Boyd, members of the St. Lawrence, Shanghai, Escher and Lydian Quartets in addition to composers Louis Andriessen, Dan Tepfer, Jesper Koch, and Jesus Martinez. The group has been featured repeatedly in the Music from Salem festival, where they have collaborated with artists and directors Rhonda Rider, Lila Brown and Judith Gordon. Keeping an active performance schedule during the summer, the quartet has participated in numerous summer festivals such as the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, McGill International String Quartet Academy, the Chamber Music Residency at The BANFF Centre, and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. Settled in Dallas, the quartet’s commitment to sharing the principles of chamber music through outreach events and educational workshops has impacted both local communities and audiences nationwide. From the onset of the ensemble’s formation, the group sought to engage with community organizations, such as the “Bridging the Gap” organization in Worcester, MA- a program for youth at risk associated with The Salvation Army. More recently in September 2019, the group was invited to participate in the Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Series, enriching the Quad City region through performance workshops and interactive sessions that reached over 2,000 people across the region. The quartet has given masterclasses for numerous youth music programs, such as the Empire State Youth Symphony String Festival, the Newark School of the Arts, the Florida Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Harrison Arts Center. Moreover, they have also been featured as guest artists at some of the country’s most prestigious institutions, including the University of South Florida, Black Hawk College, Richland College and a residency at Virginia Tech University. Furthermore, the group served as Assistant Chamber Music Coaches as part of the Peak Fellowship at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. The quartet recently completed its tenure as the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, receiving close mentorship from violinist Aaron Boyd, Director of Chamber Music at SMU, and members of the Escher String Quartet. Prior to this appointment, the quartet served as the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, where they worked intensely with the celebrated Shanghai Quartet. Oher primary mentors and influences include Rhonda Rider, Mark Steinberg, and Lila Brown. Furthermore, the group has worked with various esteemed chamber musicians such as Shmuel Ashkenasi, Michael Tree, Gerhard Schulz, Mathias Tacke, Harald Schoneweg, Joseph Silverstein, and members of the Juilliard, Emerson, St. Lawrence, Tokyo, Miro, Chilingarian, Ying, Latino Americano and Apple Hill String Quartets.
Ukrainian-born soprano Yelena Dyachek was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2016, receiving praise from The New York Times saying “…memorable as the soprano Yelena Dyachek from California, who demonstrated impressive range, depth and power in ‘Come scoglio’, before delivering an emotionally captivating Letter Scene…”. She is a graduate from Houston Grand Opera’s prestigious studio program and during her time in the HGO Studio, Ms. Dyachek appeared in several productions including as Musetta in La bohème, Flora in La traviata, and Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Further productions included Norma, Some Light Emerges, and Nixon in China. In the summer of 2019, she made her debut as Marie Antoinette in Ghosts of Versailles at the Glimmerglass Festival, a production which travels to the Opera House at the Palace of Versailles in the winter of 2019. Further engagements in the 2019-20 season include her professional role debut as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin with Palm Beach Opera under the direction of Tomer Zvulun and joining the Lyric Opera of Chicago for their productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia and Dead Man Walking.
Recent performances for Dyachek include Elettra in Idomeneo and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 as a Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera and Fiordiligi for San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program. A multi-year member of the Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Ms. Dyachek appeared as Fiordiligi in 2015 and as Tatiana in 2014. She will return to the Aspen Music Festival in the Summer of 2020 as part of their Beethoven Celebration.
Further recognition includes the Ana Maria Martinez Encouragement Award at the 2016 Eleanor McCollum Competition, and singing as a finalist at the Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert’s vocal competition. She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Further roles performed while at USC include Frau Von Daubek in the concert premiere of Thomas Morse’s Frau Schindler, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito, the title role in Iphigénie en Tauride, and Madama Cortese in Il viaggio a Reims.