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Violinist Balourdet Quartet

United States
Born in United States
United States
United States
String Quartet
graduation cap
Rice University
music note
James Dunham | Norman Fischer | Cho-Liang Lin | Paul Katz | Miriam Fried | Members of the Cleveland and Borromeo Quartets
Notable awards/competitions won
Grand Prize at the 2021 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition | Prizewinners at the Banff, Paolo Borciani, and Carl Nielsen competitions | Gold Medal at the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2021 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition



The Balourdet Quartet, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is currently in residence at the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Program. The quartet received the Grand Prize at the 2021 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, as well as prizes in international competitions including the Banff, Paolo Borciani, and Carl Nielsen competitions. They were also awarded the Gold Medal at the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2021 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition.

Highlights of the Balourdet’s 2022-23 season include appearances at Chamber Music Detroit, the Grand Piano Series in Naples, FL, NEC’s Jordan Hall, Merkin Hall, and Wigmore Hall. Summer 2022 also saw the Balourdet performing at festivals including at Bravo! Vail, Music Mountain, and Strings Music Festival. Additionally this season, the quartet is thrilled to premiere a new commissioned work by celebrated composer Karim Al-Zand, made possible through Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Grant.

The Balourdet has performed at festivals and series including Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, the Dame Myra Hess Concerts, Montgomery Chamber Music, Santa Fe ProMusica, and the Schneider Concert Series. Committed to sharing their musical values with the next generation, the quartet has given masterclasses and coachings at New England Conservatory Preparatory Department, Fischoff Chamber Music Academy, Upper Valley Chamber Music, Wright State University, as well as a residency teaching and performing at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival.

The Balourdet Quartet was formed in 2018 at Rice University in Houston, Texas under the tutelage of James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Cho-Liang Lin. It currently works primarily with Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory, as well as Miriam Fried and members of the Cleveland and Borromeo Quartets. The quartet takes its name from Antoine Balourdet, chef extraordinaire at the Hotel St. Bernard and beloved member of the Taos School of Music community.

Balourdet Quartet
What are your hobbies outside of music?
Angela: I love video editing as well as doing workouts and reading. Justin: I follow sports stats avidly, especially football and baseball. Go Jets! Benjamin: I grow my own peppers and make my own hot sauce. Russell: I like to lift weights and swim. I also like to make and drink delicious coffee.
If you were not a musician, what profession do you feel you’d be doing now?
Angela: Thanks for asking. If I wasn’t playing violin in the Balourdet Quartet, I think I’d be Queen of the World. Justin: I would love to be a baseball announcer on the radio for the Mets. Benjamin: I would love to be a farmer or a luthier. Russell: I did a lot of math growing up so realistically something in that field, but I like to dream of being a marine biologist or a wildlife photographer.
What would be your dream gig?
Angela: I am dying to play at the Moab Music Festival- it is such a beautiful venue and I can’t imagine how transformative playing there would be. Justin: Playing at Madison Square Garden. Benjamin: At the Caverns in Tennessee or at the Elbphilharmonie! Russell: I once saw a famous violinist on Curb Your Enthusiasm. It would be awesome to get to do something like that!
What is a song that makes you turn the radio up?
Angela: Love on Top by Beyoncé Justin: Weapons by Ava Max. Benjamin: If I didn’t care, by the Ink Spots. I’m a huge fan of Bill Kenny. Russell: I Want You Back by the Jackson 5
What would you say makes you unique as a musician?
Angela: I don’t think strings or adjustment matters. It’s all you. Justin: I like my major thirds low. Benjamin: I like my major thirds high. Russell: I love adjusting my cello and trying out new strings.
Do you keep all 3 meals phone free? No social media scrolling.
Angela: Yes most definitely. Justin: Angela’s lying. We all use our phones a lot. Benjamin: Not at all. Russell: Once the food comes out I pretty much can only focus on that but before and after I’m always on my phone.
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