“Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.” – Nikola Tesla
These words are the inspiration behind the Tesla Quartet’s vision. For the quartet, music is the conduit for this incredible, binding force, these “ties inseparable.” Through performance, teaching, and outreach, the Tesla Quartet strives to tap into this palpable feeling and create meaningful connections with their audiences.
Praised for their “superb capacity to find the inner heart of everything they play, regardless of era, style or technical demand” (The International Review of Music), the Tesla Quartet brings refinement and prowess to both new and established repertoire. Dubbed “technically superb” by The Strad, the Tesla Quartet recently took Second Prize as well as the Haydn Prize and Canadian Commission Prize at the 12 th Banff International String Quartet Competition. The quartet has also garnered top prizes at numerous other international competitions, including the Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Third Prize and the Best Interpretation of the Commissioned Work at the 6 th International Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna, and Third Prize at the 2012 London International String Quartet Competition. The London Evening Standard called their rendition of the Debussy Quartet “a subtly coloured performance that balanced confidently between intimacy and extraversion.”
Newly appointed as the String Quartet-in- Residence at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, the Tesla Quartet also holds a community residency in Hickory, North Carolina that includes performances and workshops at local colleges, universities, and in the public school system, as well as a dedicated chamber music series. The quartet performs regularly across North America, with recent international appearances in Austria, France and their debut at London’s Wigmore Hall. The 2016-17 season includes debut performances in China at the Beijing National Center for the Arts, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, and at the Sejong Performing Arts Center in Seoul, South Korea.
Community involvement and outreach are integral parts of the Tesla Quartet’s mission, and the group has brought inspiring music to children’s hospitals, soup kitchens, libraries, retirement communities, and schools. In addition to their current work in North Carolina, the ensemble formerly spent three years in partnership with the Aspen Music Festival’s Musical Odysseys Reaching Everyone program (M.O.R.E), providing lessons, master classes, workshops, and performances for young string players in the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado. As Quartet-in-Residence at the Strings Music Festival from 2012-13, the quartet provided community enrichment programs to the Steamboat Springs and Craig, CO, communities. The quartet has also coached a chamber music program in conjunction with the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras, and in the summer of 2012 they were the faculty quartet at the Renova Music Festival in Pennsylvania.
The Tesla Quartet was formed at The Juilliard School in 2008 and quickly established itself as one of the most promising young ensembles in New York, winning Second Prize at the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition only a few months after its inception. From 2009 to 2012 the quartet held a fellowship as the Graduate String Quartet-in- Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where they studied with the world-renowned Takács Quartet. They have studied at the Chamber Music Residency of the Banff Centre, and they have also worked with Günter Pichler and Rainer Schmidt in ProQuartet-CEMC’s professional training program in France. Additional coaches include the Tokyo String Quartet, the Artis Quartet, Mark Steinberg, and Sylvia Rosenberg. In the summer of 2011 the quartet held a fellowship at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and in 2010 they were fellows at the Aspen Music Festival’s Center for Advanced Quartet Studies. The Tesla Quartet is Ross Snyder (violin), Michelle Lie (violin), Edwin Kaplan (viola), and Serafim Smigelskiy (cello).