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L-R Emma Frucht, Brian Hong, Caleb van der Swaagh, and Miho Saegusa

VC Artist Aizuri Quartet Announces Two New Members

Cellist Caleb van der Swaagh and violist Brian Hong will join the GRAMMY-nominated string quartet as of the 2023/24 season


Soon to mark its 12th season, VC Artist Aizuri Quartet has announced cellist Caleb van der Swaagh and violist Brian Hong as its new members. 

Handpicked by Aizuri violinists Emma Frucht and Miho Saegusa, the two new recruits will succeed departing members: cellist Karen Ouzounian and violist Ayane Kozasa.

A viola and chamber music teacher at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, Brian Hong originally studied violin with Laurie Smukler and Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School. He is a Carnegie Hall Ensemble Connect alum and a Kovner Fellowship recipient.

He has served as co-artistic director of NEXUS Chamber Music Chicago for the past five years, and is the programming director of the nonprofit musical education initiative, Project: Music Heals Us.

Also an alumnus of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect fellowship program, Caleb is currently a professor of cello at SUNY Purchase. As a champion of new music, he is a member of counter)induction and Ensemble Échappé

Additionally, Caleb has performed with ensembles including The Knights, A Far Cry, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Talea Ensemble, Argento New Music Project, and Hotel Elefant, among others. 

“We are thrilled to join forces with Brian and Caleb! Their experiences as dynamic performers, passionate teachers, and creative thinkers will be great assets in this next chapter for Aizuri,” said Frucht and Saegusa. “We are honored to welcome such thoughtful artists and beautiful humans into the quartet family. We look forward to powerful performances together, and we can’t wait to share our new dreams and vision with you all!”


The quartet’s upcoming projects and season highlights include a world-premiere performance of Jennifer Hidgon’s commissioned piece Azure Waves, plus a return to Carnegie Hall to perform alongside the Kronos Quartet

Aizuri Quartet will also embark on a University of Iowa Chamber Music Residency and serve as Ensemble-in-Residence for the inaugural season of New York Youth Symphony’s Crescendo program. 

The group’s accolades include the 2022 Cleveland Quartet Award by Chamber Music America, the Grand Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, plus top prizes at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. In early 2022, it was named a fellow of WQXR’s Artist Propulsion Lab. 

Formed in 2012, the quartet has held residencies at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and the 2014 Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute. The group is represented by the Concert Artists Guild and the Pink Noise Agency.

upcoming events

april 2024

23aprAll Day26Lyon International Chamber Music Competition(All Day) Université Lumière Lyon 2, 18 quai Claude Bernard 69365 Lyon, FranceEvent Type :competitions Event Tagschamber music,chamber music competition,Lyon International Chamber Music CompetitionFOLLOW

may 2024

06may01junQueen Elisabeth Violin Competition(may 6) 12:00 am - (june 1) 11:59 pm Flagey ASBL-VZW, Pl. Sainte-Croix, 1050 Bruxelles, BelgiumEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition,violinFOLLOW

07mayAll Day13Prague Spring International Violin Competition(All Day) Rudolfinum, Alšovo nábř. 79/12, 110 00 Staré město-Staré Město, CzechiaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrague Spring International Violin Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

10mayAll Day1251st Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition(All Day) University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USAEvent Type :competitions Event TagsFischoff Chamber Music CompetitionFOLLOW

27mayAll Day31New York Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Manhattan School of Music, 130 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027Event Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW


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