Bio

One of the most unique and sought-after chamber ensembles on the concert stage today, the Carpe Diem String Quartet is a boundary-breaking ensemble that has earned widespread critical and audience acclaim for its innovative programming and electrifying performances. Carpe Diem defies easy classification with programming that includes classical, Gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music. The quartet appears on traditional concert series (Carnegie Hall, New York NY; Jordan Hall, Boston MA; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua NY; Asolo Theater, Sarasota FL) as well as unconventional venues (Poisson Rouge, NYC; Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Half-Moon Bay, CA; The Redlands Bowl, Redlands, CA; The Mug & Brush, Columbus, OH). Carpe Diem has been awarded five transformative grants from the PNC Foundation for their community outreach in Central Ohio.

Carpe Diem has become one of America's premiere “indie” string quartets without sacrificing its commitment to the traditional quartet repertoire, and continues to rack up accolades and awards:

With enthrallingly flawless execution and miraculous synchronicity, the Carpe Diem String Quartet wowed their New York audience on Saturday night at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall…the four aptly describe their style as “virtuosity without pomposity.” The experience of the extremely diverse ensemble was an unmatched delicacy of the classical and modern music scene…a refreshingly honest testament to the value of composers past and the potential of composers present. With a flair for the romantic and technical expertise to spare, the ensemble is a perfectly structured, dexterously concentrated success. Their soft expressivity clears the way for one and all to appreciate the joys of the string quartet, joys which can easily develop into budding enthusiasm. This ensemble must be held in only the highest and most reverent esteem; their contribution in this current political climate must not go unnoticed.” ( New York Theatre Guide)

“Here [Carpe Diem] once again triumphs…with readings that marry cantabile espressivo and tendency towards Beethovenian cross-referencing to memorable effect…The Carpe Diem players perform this music with the same devoted intensity as if they were rediscovering a lost work by Tchaikovsky…The players here communicate such delight in the Russian’s quirky inspiration that the ear is led effortlessly on…Well worth investigating.” (The Strad)

 “Carpe Diem’s performance of Beethoven’s Op.59 No.1 quartet (one of the hardest in the repertoire) had everything: care with dynamics and accents, timing of nuances, clarity of voice-leading and the widest ranges of character in each movement.” (Of Beethoven Op.59 No.1) This was one of the finest performances of a quartet standard I’ve heard in years…fun and sexy…A winsome performance that had the staid Georgetown audience on its feet hooting and cheering…Until Saturday evening, I had never heard a performance by one of these multilingual quartets where the classical repertoire was delivered at a level that was competitive with the finest traditional groups. But the Carpe Diem Quartet, appearing at the Dumbarton Church, was extraordinary. Among these contemporary quartets who speak in different tongues, the Carpe Diem is the best one out there." (The Washington Post, Washington, DC)

“This is an accomplished ensemble with a distinctive sound and personality” (San Diego Union Tribune)

“One would have to search long and hard to find a more charming and enjoyable chamber music concert . . . A number of elements contributed to this end result, not the least of which the superb musicianship of the four musicians - Carpe Diem is a seriously talented quartet in the most traditional definition.” (Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, FL)

Carpe Diem’s CD “Montana,” by composer (and quartet member) Korine Fujiwara, received this rave review in Strings Magazine: Carpe Diem “must be one of the most adventurous groups of its kind. Evidently feeling that attention to living composers begins at home, the players have devoted this entire record to works of its own violist, and with performances of idiomatic empathy and infectious enthusiasm prove that she fully deserves their championship.”  Carpe Diem has also recorded the complete cycle of the nine string quartets of Sergei Taneyev for Naxos, as well as the complete string quartets of Jonathan Leshnoff, Reza Vali’s The Book of Calligraphy, two CDs with singer/guitarist Willy Porter, Anansi and the Sky God with John Gunther, saxophone, the complete string quartets of Richard Jordan Smoot, Quintets No. 1 and 2 for Mandolin and String Quartet by mandolinist Jeff Midkiff, and Bruce Wolosoff’s Songs without Words.

Carpe Diem champions the music of living composers, and has commissioned, premiered, and performed works from a broad and stylistically diverse range of various composers including Frank Bennett, Lawrence Dillon, Danny Elfman, Ken Fuchs, Korine Fujiwara, Steven Gerber, Osvaldo Golijov, Andre Hajdu, Donald Harris, Jennifer Higdon, Jonathan Leshnoff, Nicholas Maw, William Thomas McKinley, Clancy Newman, Carter Pann, Kevin Putts, Eric Sawyer, Gunther Schuller, Richard Smoot, Bradley Sowash, David Stock, Reza Vali, I-Uen Hwang, Charles Wetherbee, and Bruce Wolosoff, among others. 

Carpe Diem was selected to receive a 2015 Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant for a new string quartet by Persian composer Reza Vali, composed using the Dastgah system and Persian polyphony.   Twelve grants totaling $198,100 were awarded through the Classical Commissioning program, which provides support for US-based professional classical and world music ensembles and presenters for the creation and performance of new chamber works by American composers. The CMA Classical Commissioning Grants are supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund. 

Carpe Diem seeks out, and is sought after by, artists from many different genres for collaborations. Carpe Diem’s diverse musical partnerships include American singer/songwriter/ guitarist Willy Porter -- the CD of their live concert debut continues to receive accolades – as well as Latin Grammy winner/bandoneón player Raul Juarena, klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, cellist Yo Yo Ma, banjo virtuoso and Canadian Folk Music "Artist of the Year" Jayme Stone, the band Get The Led Out – The American Led Zepplin, Shannon Heaton, Celtic flautist, mandolinist Jeff Midkiff, Dixieland trumpeter Tom Battenberg, classical guitarist Nicolo Spera, Chinese pipa player Yihan Chen, and world master of the Persian santoor Dariush Saghafi. The quartet is the resident ensemble for Columbus Dance Theatre, and their joint project The String Machine was aired by WOSU-PBS television through 2007-2008, and nominated for an Emmy award. 

The quartet is dedicated to community engagement, and regularly performs programs specifically designed to relate to audiences of all ages and establish chamber music's relevance to their lives.

Carpe Diem is committed to pushing the limits of the classical string quartet and to changing the concert experience of chamber music. Using innovative programming, thematic concerts, popular music for younger generations, cameras and video to assist in the visual presentation, as well as speaking from the stage to better engage the audience, Carpe Diem is bringing new audiences into the concert hall and revitalizing the chamber music experience.

 

Carpe Diem String Quartet is represented by:

Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates.
For further information, please visit www.carpediemstringquartet.com

 

 

Violinist Charles Wetherbee has performed throughout the world, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. He has appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, the Garth Newell Center, the Hidden Valley Festival (CA), the Roycroft Chamber Festival (NY), the Nouvelle Academie International d’Été (Nice, France), the Olympic Music Festival (WA), the MidAmerica Music Festival (OH), and Strings in the Mountains (CO). He has performed in the French, German, Austrian, and Dutch embassies, the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery, the Freer Gallery, Strathmore Hall, Jordan Hall and many other important venues. A native of Buffalo, New York, Charles gave his first performances at age six. He made his debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under Symon Bychkov, and since then has performed with the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovitch, as well as the Japan Philharmonic, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogota (Columbia), the National Repertory Orchestra, the Orchestra Nacional de Mexico, the Symphony Orchestra of the Curtis Institute, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Virginia Symphony, among others. Charles has recorded the Violin Concerto and Double Concerto for Violin and Viola by Jonathan Leshnoff, James Aikman’s Violin Concerto, and both violin and viola sonatas by Tibor Harsányi with David Korevaar, piano, on the Naxos label.

Violinist Amy Galluzzo, a native of Kansas, moved to Great Britain where she began her violin. She went on to study with Dona Lee Croft, a professor at the Royal College of Music, London, and to earn a Bachelors, and Masters with Honors, and a Graduate Diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studied with Marylou Speaker Churchill and James Buswell. A finalist in the Naftzger Competition and the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition, Amy has been praised for her “stunning rendition [of Danses sacrés et profanes]” (WGBH Boston) and her “incredible speed and energy” (Sarasota Herald Tribune). She has performed worldwide in halls such as London’s Barbican, Wigmore and Royal Albert Halls, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Vienna‘s St. Steven’s Cathedral and the Koussevitsky Music Shed and Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood. She has collaborated in chamber music concerts with artists including Masuko Ushioda, Carol Rodland and James Buswell, and has studied with members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Shanghai, American and Concord Quartets. Amy attended the Tanglewood Music Festival for several years, where she won the Jules C. Reiner Prize and served as concertmaster under renowned conductors such as Kurt Masur, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos and Christoph von Dohnányi. While there, Amy became very involved in performing the music of today’s composers, and has since worked closely with Roger Reynolds, John Zorn, Steve Mackey and Gunther Schuller. Amy teaches violin at the New England Conservatory through their Preparatory School and Continuing Education department as well as maintaining a private studio in Boston.

Korine Fujiwara - Violinist/Violist/Composer/Co-founder of Carpe Diem String Quartet. Named one of Strings Magazine's “25 Contemporary Composers to Watch,” critics say of her music, "The ear is forever tickled by beautifully judged music that manages to be sophisticated and accessible at the same time," "Contains a very rare attribute in contemporary classical music: happiness." (Fanfare) "She knows how to exploit all the resources of string instruments alone and together; her solo violin writing is fiendishly difficult." (Strings) Korine is a recepient of an Opera America Commissioning Grant from the Opera Grants for Female Composers program, made possible through the generosity of The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, for a collaborative production with Fujiwara, composer, Stephen Wadsworth, librettist, Opera Columbus, and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. Korine holds degrees from Juilliard and Northwestern University, studied with Joseph Fuchs, Myron Kartman, Harvey Shapiro, Robert Mann, and Joel Krosnik, was a longtime faculty member of Ohio Wesleyan University, and is in great demand for master classes and clinics. Korine teaches violin at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma Washington, and is the Artist-in-Residence for the string program at the Tacoma School of the Arts. Korine performs on a 1790 Contreras violin, 2004 Kurt Widenhouse viola, and bows by three of today’s finest makers, Paul Martin Siefried, Ole Kanestrom and Charles Espey, all of Port Townsend, WA, USA.

A versatile artist, cellist Carol Ou is known for her “fiery, marvelous” and “meltingly melodic outpourings.” (Boston Globe) As the cellist of the Carpe Diem String Quartet and the Buswell-Ou Duo, she frequently tours all over the world performing a zesty mix of classical, contemporary and crossover repertoire. At ease with the diverse musical styles of the last five centuries, Carol regularly programs traditional European masterworks with more eclectic works in concert. She has recorded three of the most beloved cello concerti by Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Elgar and premiered several new compositions written for her. Composers such as Richard Toensing, Daniel Pinkham, and Hsiao Tyzen have dedicated works to her. Her discography includes many solo and chamber music discs issued by Chi-Mei, Naxos, CRI, and Albany Records. A graduate of Yale University, Ms. Ou received her BA magna cum laude from Yale College and her MM and DMA in music performance from the Yale School of Music. She has taught cello students at Yale and MIT, and was the director of strings, chamber music and orchestral studies at Gordon College. Between 2006-2013, she was also the director of chamber music at the Heifetz International Music Institute in Wolfeboro, NH and Staunton, VA. She is currently on the faculty at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In addition to her regular teaching duties, Ms. Ou travels internationally to give cello and chamber music master classes on five continents, most recently in Hong Kong and Turkey.

 

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Radio

Fujiwara: Fiddle Suite "Montana"
Desmond: Take Five
Eryilmaz: Miniatures Set No.4
Bartók: Quartet for Strings no 5, Sz 102/BB 110
Fujiwara: Hands
Leshnoff: String Quartet No. 4
Brubeck: Blue Rondo A La Turk
Amiryan: Retro Non
Kern: Iron City
Harris: String Quartet no 2
Vali: Folksongs Set no 11b for String Quartet
Vali: Calligraphy No. 4 for Santoor and String Quartet
Shield: Reconstructions for String Quartet
Midkiff: From the Blue Ridge
Wolosoff: Car Wash
Sowash: Positive Energy
Wolosoff: 5 O'Clock Shadow
Sowash: Septendecim (Seventeen)
Monti: Csárdás
Piazzolla: Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (Four Seasons of Buenos Aires)
Taneyev: String Quartet No. 1 in B Fat Major, Op. 4


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