The Afiara Quartet is widely noted for its engaging, authentic presence and performances balancing “intensity and commitment” with “frequent moments of tenderness.” [The Montreal Gazette].
Winner of the 2008 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the 2010 Young Canadian Musicians Award, top prizes at the Munich ARD International Music Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition, where they also took the Szekely Prize for best Beethoven interpretation, the Afiara Quartet has lively interest in new works and fresh insight into core classical repertoire. As the Glenn Gould School Fellowship Quartet at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music, the Quartet offers masterclasses, educational outreach and performances as part of their residency.
Throughout the 2013/2014 season the Quartet returns to Ontario’s Festival of the Sound, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and ventures to Newfoundland’s Tuckamore Festival. They will tour several cities in China, returns to the ProMusica San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, perform in Santa Rosa and Fullerton, CA, teach at Stanford University and will be presented by Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series.
In recent seasons, the Afiara appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Esterhazy Castle in Austria, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Baryshnikov Arts Centre in New York City, Chamber Music Cincinnati, the Washington Performing Arts Society, San Francisco Performances, Stanford Lively Arts, Cal Performances the Library of Congress and joined the Juilliard String Quartet in a performance of the Mendelssohn Octet at the Kennedy Center. The Quartet has also made its Ravinia debut, participated in the Indiana University Summer Music Festival, and Festival Domaine Forget and a recent extensive tour of Denmark and Sweden.
Enjoying a friendly mentorship with the Kronos Quartet, the Afiara offered affectionate tribute at the Kronos’ June 2011 Avery Fisher Prize Presentation, playing Aleksandra Vrebalov’s “Pannonia Boundless”. The Afiara have also performed the world premieres of Brett Abigana’s String Quartet No. 2, “Lockdown” by Dan Becker, and Jason Bush’s “Visions in San Francisco” – all written specifically for them.
In 2011, the Afiara Quartet completed a two-year tenure as graduate resident string quartet at The Juilliard School in New York, where they served as teaching assistants to the Juilliard String Quartet. Prior to that, they were the Morrison Fellowship Quartet-in-Residence at San Francisco State University’s International Center for the Arts (2007-2009), where the members were teaching assistants to their mentor ensemble, the Alexander String Quartet. The Afiara players have also worked with musicians and ensembles including the American, Cavani, Emerson, Kronos, St. Lawrence, Takacs and Ying Quartets, Earl Carlyss, James Dunham, Henk Guittart, Bonnie Hampton, and at the San Francisco Conservatory, where they were formed, with Paul Hersh, Mark Sokol and Ian Swensen.
Recognizing the vital importance of music education and advocacy, the Afiara Quartet pursues its own teaching work, in residencies at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, as faculty at Chamber Music of the Rockies, Indiana University Summer String Academy, and Canada’s Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute, among other institutions. They also provide educational outreach and make regular appearances at The Banff Centre.
Formed in 2006, the Afiara Quartet takes its name from the Spanish fiar, meaning “to trust”, a basic element vital to the depth and joy of its music-making.
(November 2013. Please discard previously dated materials and contact email@example.com before making any alterations or cuts.)