Spartanburg, S.C. – The Stern Scholar String Quartet from the North Carolina School of the Arts, accompanied by pianist Emile Blondei, will perform at Wofford College on Monday, April 9. The performance, which is free and open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. in Leonard Auditorium.
The quartet was established in 2006 in memory of Isaac Stern through the generous support of his widow, Linda Stern. The quartet is an ensemble committed to the pursuit of excellence in chamber music. Led by the Isaac Stern Scholarship First Violinist, membership in the quartet is an honor primarily reserved for graduate students of the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA), although the group may occasionally include undergraduate students of exceptional promise.
The quartet consists of Elisa Friedrich, violinist; Geronimo Oyenard, violinist; Laura Manko, violist; and Dorothea Vit, cellist. (Biographies are included below)
The program will include the String Quartet in D minor, K. 421, by W.A. Mozart, and the Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 115, by C. Franck.
The music students will have an open Q&A session after the performance, hosted by President Dunlap. They will discuss their music, as well as their lives as musicians.
ELISA FRIEDRICH, violinist
After studying violin with Conrad von der Goltz at the Hochschule for Music, Würzburg, for which she received a scholarship from the Bavarian government, Elisa Friedrich studied with Klaus Hertel at the Hochschule for Music, Leipzig, and graduated in June 2001. In September of that year she began a short term contract at the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, with whom she did extensive international touring. She earned a master of music degree in May 2006, studying with Kevin Lawrence. In the summer of 2006, she won a fellowship to the Tanglewood Institute, and she is currently the Isaac Stern Scholarship First Violinist in the NCSA professional artist certificate program.
GERONIMO OYENARD, violinist
Geronimo Oyenard began his studies in his native Uruguay with Ludmilla Cavallaro. He then pursued a bachelor’s degree and an artist’s certificate diploma at the College of Charleston, where he studied with Amos Lawrence and Lee-Chin Siow. A seasoned orchestral and chamber musician, Oyenard has been a member of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, and the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. He also has participated in numerous chamber music and orchestral festivals in the United States, Canada, France and Spain. This year Oyenard is completing a master of music degree at NCSA as a student of Kevin Lawrence.
LAURA MANKO, violist
Laura Manko, violist, is a sophomore at NCSA, where she studies with Sheila Browne. She is a member of the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, Stern Scholar Quartet, and the NCSA Symphony Orchestra. Before arriving in Winston-Salem, Laura was a member of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and was a winner of numerous solo competitions in Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
DOROTHEA VIT, cellist
Dorothea Vit, a native of Leipzig, Germany, amplified her experience as a cellist by studying solo, chamber and orchestra in Germany and in the United States. She has enriched herself as a musician by participating in numerous master classes and European festivals. Vit has been a prizewinner of several local and national competitions. She is currently a master’s degree candidate studying cello with Brooks Whitehouse at NCSA.
EMILE BLONDEL, pianist
Emile Blondel has appeared as soloist and in chamber ensembles throughout the eastern United States and France. His principle teachers include Eric Larsen at NCSA, and Christian Ivaldi at the Ecole Normal de Musique in Paris. He has performed in master classes for Gary Graffman, Claude Franck and Robert Mann. Emile is also an active jazz musician and a percussionist.