Aeolus Quartet, USA, 2011
Tour Dates
  • 8 Sep - 19 Sep, 2011

Tour Dates: 8 Sep - 19 Sep, 2011

"[The evening's program] was played with considerable spirit and energy....the Aeolus Quartet...brought considerable elan to [Bolcom's] Three Rags."
-Jeanne Claire van Ryzin,, March 2010



Hailed by Strad Magazine for their "high-octane" performance and by the Reading Eagle for their "spirited and precise" playing, the Aeolus Quartet is among the finest young string quartets performing today. Formed in 2006 under the tutelage of William Preucil, Peter Salaff, and the Cavani Quartet, the Aeolus Quartet is currently the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin. Their activities include extensive teaching and performing, educational, and intensive work with the Miró Quartet.

The Aeolus Quartet are winners of the Coleman-Barstow Prize for Strings at the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Music Competition, and they have won awards in the 2010 New England International Chamber Ensemble Competition and the 2010 Plowman Chamber Music Competition. Their 2010-2011 season highlights include a two-week tour of China and concerts featuring American composers across the United States made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Quartet has collaborated on stage with such artists as Eugenia Zuckermann, Brian Lewis, DaXun Zhang, Zuill Bailey, Peter Salaff, and the Miró Quartet. They have premiered works by many composers including Alexandra Bryant, Steven Snowden, and Evan Premo.

In the summer of 2010, the Aeolus Quartet was the Young Quartet-in-Residence at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Vail, CO. Summer 2010 also included performances at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, the Perlman Music Program, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the Sunflower Music Festival. The Quartet has also participated in the Aspen Music Festival's Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, the Young Quartet -in-Residence Program at the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and the Jeunesses Musicales Chamber Music Workshop in Weikersheim, Germany.

Dedicated to bringing music into the community, the Aeolus Quartet designed and performed a program for elementary students in the Cleveland Public School system in an April 2009 project made possible by the Frances E. Sykora Outreach Performance Fund. The significant impact of this program has led to its becoming an ongoing project in the Cleveland Public School system. In addition to their studies with the Miró Quartet, the Aeolus Quartet has studied extensively with the Juilliard, Takacs, Artemis, and Cavani Quartets. The Quartet's other mentors have included artists such as Peter Salaff, William Preucil, Donald Weilerstein, James Dunham, Roger Tapping, Heime Müller, and Itzhak Perlman.

The Quartet is named for the Greek god Aeolus, the keeper of the four winds. He is known for welcoming Odysseus and his crew with music during their journey back to Ithaca in Homer's Odyssey.

Brief Member Biographies - Aeolus Quartet

Lauded by the Washington Post for his "brilliant musicianship," violinist Nicholas Tavani debuted in Washington, D.C.'s Gaston Hall at the age of eight. Since then, he has performed extensively in the United States and around the world. As first violinist of the Aeolus Quartet, he was a winner of the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Music Competition. He is also a laureate of the Postacchini and Kingsville International Violin Competitions. Nicholas is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Encore School for Strings, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, and the MasterWorks Festival. Performances with orchestra include the Aspen Festival Orchestra, Prince William Symphony, Little River Symphony, Masterworks Festival Orchestra, CIM Chamber Orchestra, and many others. An alumnus of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Nicholas studied violin with William Preucil and chamber music with Peter Salaff and the Cavani Quartet. In addition to a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from CIM Nicholas also studied mathematical physics at Case Western Reserve University. Currently, he is pursuing a Masters of Chamber Music Performance as part of the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin.

Rachel Kitagawa Shapiro, born in Reading, PA, has been a member of the Aeolus Quartet since its inception in 2006. Presently pursuing a Master of Music degree as part of the Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin, Ms. Shapiro studies with Sandy Yamamoto and Daniel Ching of the Miró Quartet. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2009 under the tutelage of Linda Cerone and David Russell. Ms. Shapiro has performed as soloist with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and the Lower Merion Symphony. She has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School, ENCORE School for Strings and Meadowmount School of Music, and has performed in festivals in Norway, Germany and the Czech Republic. Ms. Shapiro's past teachers include Yumi Ninomiya Scott and Yayoi Numazawa of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has participated in masterclasses with such distinguished artists as Joel Smirnoff, Charles Castleman and Sherry Kloss.

Gregory Luce is currently an artist diploma scholar studying with John Largess of the Miró Quartet at the University of Texas at Austin. He performed in the Akron Symphony, the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, and as associate principal violist of the Erie Philharmonic from 2007-2009. He has performed at festivals in Austria, England, Hungary, Germany, Canada, and the United States, and has premiered dozens of pieces in varied ensembles across the United States, with concert venues including the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Severance Hall and the Meyerhoff Concert Hall in Baltimore. As an educator he is also in demand, having been invited to coach, teach privately, and perform at the ICMP chamber music course at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and at other festivals in Tennessee and Colorado. His previous studies were with Victoria Chiang and Stephen Wyrczynski at the Peabody Conservatory (BM) and with Mark Jackobs of the Cleveland Orchestra at the Cleveland Institute of Music (MM).

A founding member of the Aeolus Quartet, Alan Richardson is a student in the Master's of Music program at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies with Joshua Gindele of the Miró Quartet. Mr. Richardson is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree and studied with Melissa Kraut and Richard Aaron. Festivals in which Mr. Richardson has participated include the Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland International Chamber Music Course, Aspen Music Festival and School Advanced String Quartet Program, ENCORE School for Strings, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Meadowmount Music Festival, and Eastern Music Festival. Mr. Richardson has also performed in master classes for cellists David Hardy, Sharon Robinson, Alisa Weilerstein, Clancy Newman, Zuill Bailey, and many others. His past teachers include Neal Cary, James Wilson, Hannah Holman, and Joseph Wargo.



"...I was most sad to see the American Aeolus Quartet depart."

"[The Aeolus Quartet] gave a high-octane performance of Bartok's Fifth, well contrasted..."

"I especially enjoyed violist Gregory Luce turning outwards for his many solos, a la Oskar Nebal (and he is a similarly big man)."
-Carlos Maria Solare, Strad Magazine, December 2009 (page 18)

"Masterful Performance by Aeolus String Quartet"

"The young musicians' performance of their ambitious program was stellar, their commitment is obvious, and I predict a great future for them."

"...shimmering, emotionally satisfying...all of it made sense, and all of it was sensitively, lovingly performed."

"They opened with a spirited and precise rendition of Franz Joseph Haydn's String Quartet in B minor, Op. 64, No. 2..."

"Their reading of Franz Schubert's String Quartet in D minor, "Death and the Maiden," was fresh and exciting, from their foreboding and passionate playing of the first movement, with its "Erl King"-like triplets, to their febrile finale.

"The earthy Scherzo, with its delicate and pretty trio, was simply delicious."
- Susan L Peńa, Reading Eagle, October 2009

"[The evening's program] was played with considerable spirit and energy....the Aeolus Quartet...brought considerable elan to [Bolcom's] Three Rags."
-Jeanne Claire van Ryzin,, March 2010

"Aeolus Quartet is a powerful and thoughtful group of young musicians who...are charting an ascending course."

"Aeolus sounded very at ease, confident in their interpretation."

"The Mendelssohn gave Aeolus another chance to display a unity of technique and purpose, the violins and viola executing precise, exposed notes flawlessly."

"...this vibrant group shows great promise."
- Austin, Luke Quinton, October 18, 2010