Events & Tickets
A quartet of NWS Fellows host an intimate recital for both in-person and online audiences, performing music shared within communities. Stemming from religious to social gatherings, the works featured in this all-string quartet recital include Nordic folk songs, Antonín Dvořák’s ‘American’ quartet, Osvaldo Golijov’s Tenebrae, Jessie Montgomery’s Strum and an interactive performance of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Cuckoo’ song.
The in-person audience will be seated around the quartet in an immersive listening environment. Musicians will wear GoPro cameras for a unique observation experience by online audiences during the recital’s livestream on NWS’s Facebook page.
Admission is free, tickets required.
About this Project
The Collective Quartet is a NWS BLUE Project. These projects are made possible with support from the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation and the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation.
Henry Purcell Fantasia No. 6 in F major, Z. 737 (1680)
Osvaldo Golijov Tenebrae (2002)
Jessie Montgomery Strum (2006; revised 2012)
Benjamin Britten “Cuckoo!” from Friday Afternoons, Op. 7 (1933-35)
Scandinavian Folk Suite
Traditional Sekstur from Vendsyssel/Peat Dance
(The Six Tour from Vendsyssel: The Topped Hen /
The Peat Dance)
Arranged by the Danish String Quartet
Danish Traditional Æ Rømeser
Arranged by the Danish String Quartet
Shetland Traditional Unst Boat Song (The Boat Song)
Arranged by the Danish String Quartet
Rune Tonsgaard Shine you no more
Sørensen (b. 1983)
Antonín Dvořák Quartet No. 12 for Strings, Op. 96, “American” (1893)
(1841-1904) Finale: Vivace ma non troppo
Second-year Violin Fellow Alex Gonzalez has performed across the United States and abroad as a chamber musician, soloist and ensemble player. He has appeared at such venues as the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium (New York), Detroit Orchestra Hall, Ordway Center (St. Paul), Smith Center (Las Vegas), Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Snape Maltings Concert Hall at the Aldeburgh Festival (U.K.) and Chicago's Harris Theater and Orchestra Hall.
Mr. Gonzalez has been invited to numerous music festivals including the Sarasota, Bowdoin and Pacific Music Festivals, The Castleman Quartet Program, Britten-Pears Young Artist Program, Aspen Music Festival and School as a two-time fellowship recipient and Interlochen Arts Camp as an Emerson Scholar and concertmaster of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. Recipient of the Achievement Award at the 16th annual Sphinx Competition, Mr. Gonzalez was also one of the recipients of the John Celentano Award for excellence in chamber music upon graduation from Eastman School of Music. He has received awards and support from the Links and Dorothy Richard Starling Foundations, and was recently named one of the recipients of the MPower Artist Grant from the Sphinx Organization.
In addition to Eastman, Mr. Gonzalez completed studies at Rice University Shepherd School of Music and Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. His principal teachers include Shakeh Ghoukasian, Oleh Krysa, Paul Kantor and Cyrus Forough. His primary chamber music studies were under Carol Rodland, Mimi Hwang, Norman Fischer, James Dunham and the Ying Quartet.
Mr. Gonzalez performs regularly as a member of the Sphinx Virtuosi. He plays on a violin and bow generously on loan from the Maestro Foundation.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, second-year Violin Fellow Christopher Robinson recently held the role of Concertmaster for the Cleveland Opera Theater, while leading performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. His music festival performances include the Aspen Music Festival and School, Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, China, and the Mozarteum Summer Music Academy in Salzburg, Austria. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Robinson has been featured in the Tuesday Musical Association at the Akron Art Museum performing premieres of contemporary chamber music. He studied chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Cavani, Ariel, Muir, American, Arianna and Great Wall string quartets.
Mr. Robinson began studying the violin at age 10 with Gloria Spurlock, and later continued violin studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Kurt Sassmannshaus, earning his bachelor of music degree in 2015. Most recently, he earned his master of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying under Joan Kwuon.
Passionate about teaching and community engagement, Mr. Robinson served as director of the Sassmannshaus Tradition from 2014-15. The Sassmannshaus Tradition is a beginning string program in the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Pre-college where he also taught violin lessons, chamber music, ear training and music theory. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Giovani Vecchi Concert Series, which explores new ways to attract and expose younger audiences to classical music.
As an outdoorsman and Eagle Scout, Mr. Robinson enjoys cycling, backpacking, hiking, kayaking and canoeing. During the summer of 2015, he joined his family on a 221-mile backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
Stephanie Block is a first-year Viola Fellow at the New World Symphony. Praised by the Sarasota Observer as “exceptionally talented” and “a virtuosic performer,” she has performed as a soloist with several Chicago-area symphonies and recently gave the U.S. premiere of Alejandro Cardona’s Sweet Tijuana: Danzas Fronterizas for Viola and Orchestra with the New Juilliard Ensemble. Ms. Block has served as Principal Viola with the Juilliard Orchestra, Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra. She also holds a gold medal from the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Block was recently selected to participate in the inaugural Keston MAX London Symphony Orchestra Fellowship through the Music Academy of the West and will be playing with the London Symphony in January 2019.
Ms. Block has worked with several renowned chamber musicians, including Michael Tree, Shmuel Ashkenasi and Ralph Kirshbaum, as well as the Brentano, Borromeo and Miró quartets. She has worked under conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Jaap van Zweden, Stéphane Denève, Elim Chan and Larry Rachleff. She also has a passion for jazz music and performed with Wynton Marsalis at Dizzy’s Jazz Club: Coca-Cola in New York as part of Daniel Chmielinski’s group Four by Four.
Born in Barrington, Illinois, Ms. Block received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School under Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, Misha Amory and Cynthia Phelps.
A survivor of the rare cancer Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, Ms. Block organized a benefit concert to raise money for the Histiocytosis Association and is committed to continuing fundraising through her music. Outside of music, she is an accomplished runner and triathlete. She has been an age group winner in the Girls’ Best Friend and Chicago Supersprint Triathlons and a top prizewinner in the Chicago Triathlon.
Drew Comstock is a second-year Cello Fellow at the New World Symphony. Winner of the 2017 Glenn Gould School Chamber competition as cellist of the Hensel Quartet, he has performed in leadership positions with the New England Conservatory Philharmonia, McGill Symphony and Royal Conservatory Orchestra. Mr. Comstock has also performed in orchestras across North America, including the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra (Toronto), North Carolina Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, CO) and Boston’s Discovery Ensemble.
A passionate chamber musician, Mr. Comstock has appeared in several summer festivals, such as le Domaine Forget, Toronto Summer Music Festival and the McGill International String Quartet Academy. In 2017, at Music by the Sea in Bamfield, British Columbia, the Hensel Quartet was joined by esteemed violist Steven Dann for the Brahms’ Second Viola Quintet. Mr. Comstock has played chamber music with cellist David Geringas, violinist Barry Shiffman and members of the New Orford String Quartet, and studied chamber music with Timothy Ying, Andre Roy, Borromeo String Quartet and members of the Alban Berg string quartet. Mr. Comstock has performed in master class for Laurence Lesser, Raphael Pidoux, Phillipe Muller and Raphael Wallfisch. In 2016, as a member of the Glenn Gould Ensemble, he collaborated with composer Osvaldo Golijov to present three of Mr. Golijov’s chamber works with Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre Company.
Mr. Comstock won a Temerty Family Foundation Scholarship at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, where he completed an artist’s diploma while working with former Cleveland Orchestra Principal Desmond Hoebig and soloist Andres Diaz. Previously, Mr. Comstock completed a master’s degree at McGill University after studying with Montreal Symphony Principal Brian Manker, and a bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Borromeo Quartet cellist Yeesun Kim.