Verona Quartet Begins Second Year at Oberlin with Debut Recording and Concert

July 7 recital with faculty pianist Scott Cuellar marks first live, indoor campus performance with an audience since March 2020.

June 30, 2021

Erich Burnett

Verona Quartet.

The Verona Quartet, Oberlin’s ensemble in residence since fall 2020, will return to campus in that capacity for the 2021-22 academic year—and the quartet’s second season at Oberlin begins with a bang: It released its debut recording, Diffusion (Azica Records), on June 25 and will team up with faculty pianist Scott Cuellar for a 7:30 p.m. performance in the conservatory’s Stull Recital Hall on Wednesday, July 7.

The concert marks Oberlin’s first indoor performance to welcome a live audience since March 2020 and signals an anticipated return to regularly produced faculty and student concerts on campus in the fall semester and beyond.

The July 7 recital will also be livestreamed.

The program will open with Giacomo Puccini’s 1890 quartet Crisantemi (“Chrysanthemums”) and includes a late piano sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven—No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109—as well as Igor Stavinsky’s Concertino for String Quartet, Ernst Krenek’s Fünf Klavierstücke, Op. 39, and Grażyna Bacewicz’s Piano Quintet No. 1.

Winner of Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award for 2020, the Verona Quartet devoted the past year to leading lessons and coaching chamber music with students from the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as collaborations with the Oberlin Arts and Sciences Orchestra. The quartet presented a virtual performance and discussion on Oberlin Stage Left in August 2020, and performed a livestreamed recital from Kulas Recital Hall in March.

The Verona Quartet consists of violinists Jonathan Ong and Dorothy Ro, violist Abigail Rojansky ’11, and cellist Jonathan Dorman. Together, their membership represents the nations of Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

Diffusion recording by Verona Quartet.

The new album celebrates cross-cultural connections through the music of Janáček, Szymanowski, and Ravel.

“As a quartet of musicians hailing from across the world, we knew we wanted our first album to reflect the essence of the cultural migration that is such a big part of our identity," the quartet shares on its website. "Through Diffusion, we celebrate the spirit of intercultural exploration that permeates many of the great works of the string quartet canon. This music and the weaving together of global traditions is incredibly meaningful to us and we hope that listeners will love it too.”

A 2011 graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Scott Cuellar serves as assistant professor of class piano at the conservatory.

In accordance with campus guidelines, fully vaccinated guests may visit campus without wearing face coverings. Unvaccinated guests are recommended to wear a mask and maintain distance when possible.

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