Faculty Artists and Friends Present - New Orford String Quartet

Saturday, December 3, 2011 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Event Location: 
University Recital Hall


“Ravishing beautiful tone” and “extraordinary technical skills and musicianship” are just a few of the accolades critics heap on the New Orford String Quartet. Brilliant and refined, the New Orford String Quartet has risen to national acclaim with sold out concerts across the country and Lethbridge audiences have their opportunity to hear the group on Dec. 3 in a special 2 pm performance.

Either former or current principal members of the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, Jonathan Crow (violin), Andrew Wan (violin), Eric Nowlin (viola) and Brian Manker (cello) comprise the ensemble, which was formed in 2009.

“There is a long history of performance associated with the New Orford String Quartet, stemming back to its previous incarnation as the Orford String Quartet,” says Nick Sullivan, Faculty Artists and Friends Co-coordinator. “Aside from the amazing musicianship of the ensemble, the chance to hear performers that are also current or former members of some of the biggest orchestras in Canada is an opportunity that cannot be missed!”

The concert includes music by Sokolovic, Beethoven, Brahms as well as contemporary work.  In addition, Lethbridge violinist Aaron Au joins the quartet for a compelling performance of Brahms’ String Quartet op. 111 in G Major.

To reserve seats for this rare and exciting performance, visit the University Box Office, Monday – Friday 12:30 pm  - 3:30 pm, or call (403) 329-2616. Tickets are only $15 regular, $10 for seniors/students.

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New Orford String Quartet Biographies

Jonathan Crow, violin
The 2011-2012 season marks the début of Canadian violinist Jonathan Crow as Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduation from McGill University at the age of 19, he joined the Montreal Symphony Orchestra as associate principal second violin, and won the associate concertmaster chair five months later. Mr. Crow was appointed concertmaster in 2002 — becoming the youngest concertmaster to lead a major North American orchestra — a position he held until 2006. Mr. Crow has been featured as a soloist with most major Canadian orchestras including the Montreal, Kingston, London, National Arts Centre, Victoria and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, under the baton of such conductors as Dutoit, Menuhin, Nagano, Bernardi and Martins. He is heard frequently on Chaîne Culturelle of Radio-Canada, CBC Radio Two, and NPR, along with Radio France, Deutsche Welle, Hessischer Rundfunk and the RAI in Europe. Jonathan is currently Associate Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University where he has been teaching since 2005.

Andrew Wan, violin
Named concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 2008, Andrew Wan is equally at home as a soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared with the orchestras of Montreal, Toronto, Newfoundland, Juilliard, Aspen, and Edmonton under conductors such as Nagano, Casadesus, Vengerov, Oundjian, DePreist and Stern, and has concertized in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Salle Gaveau with the Juilliard Quartet, Gil Shaham, James Ehnes, and Cho-Liang Lin. He frequently serves as guest concertmaster for several North American orchestras and has appeared as artist and faculty at the Seattle Chamber, Agassiz, Aspen and Orford Music Festivals. Mr. Wan received his Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Masao Kawasaki and Ron Copes. He is currently on faculty at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.

Eric Nowlin, viola
Violist Eric Nowlin has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as abroad. Mr. Nowlin won second prize in the 2006 Walter W. Naumburg Competition, as well as first prize in the 2003 Irving M. Klein International String Competition and the 2001 Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition. His festival appearances include the Marlboro Music Festival and Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and he has toured with both Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Steans Institute. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from The Juilliard School as a student of Samuel Rhodes. Mr. Nowlin currently serves as Associate Principal Violist with the Toronto Symphony. 

Brian Manker, cello
Principal Cellist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 1999, Brian Manker enjoys a diverse and varied musical career as a performer and teacher. A Grand Prize winner as a member of the Harrington Quartet at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Mr. Manker also received a special commendation from Sir Yehudi Menuhin at the Portsmouth International String Quartet Competition. Formerly the co-director of Festival Alexandria (Ontario), he can be heard on his 2010 recording of the complete Bach Cello Suites on STORKCLASSICS, as well as numerous recordings of chamber music and of course with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He is currently on the faculty at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. In 2007, Mr. Manker launched The Beethoven String Quartet Project, which aims to perform all the quartets of Beethoven in their proper context, the private salon. He also enjoys a critically acclaimed sonata recital partnership with the pianist André Laplante.