The famed Balourdet Quartet, currently in residence at the New England Conservatory’s prestigious Professional String Program, will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 8 in Saint Paul’s Church, 20 Fair Street, the new venue for Nantucket Musical Arts Society’s (NMAS) acclaimed summer concert series, now in its 64th season.
The Boston-based group includes violinists Angela Bae, Justin DeFilippis, and Benjamin Zannoni, and cellist Russell Houston.
“Audience members are in for a four-star treat this week when the Balourdet Quartet returns to Nantucket” said Eva-Maria Tausig, NMAS President. “Hailed as a new-generation ensemble by The Violin Channel, it never fails to light up the stage with a unique and fresh approach to chamber music.”
NMAS will also co-host the concert series’ popular, free “Meet the Artist” event with the quartet at the Atheneum, 1 India Street, at 5 p.m. Monday. The informal chat will allow audience members to engage members of the Balourdet in conversations about its history, future plans, musical preferences, and other topics. Students and children are welcome.
The group is named for Antoine Balourdet, chef extraordinaire at the Hotel St. Bernard and a beloved member of the Taos School of Music community. The Quartet emerged from the friendship and musical companionship its members built during their residence there.
Now based in Boston, the Balourdet Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2021 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition as well as the top prize in the 2021 Premio Paolo Borciani in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The group also received the Gold Medal in the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2021 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition.
The Balourdet has performed at many festivals and venues including Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, Chigiana, La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, Montgomery Chamber Music, Santa Fe ProMusica, and the Schneider Concert Series.. Formed in 2018 at Rice University in Houston, Texas under the tutelage of James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Cho-Liang Lin, it now works primarily with Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory, as well as Miriam Fried and members of the Cleveland and Borromeo Quartets.
A native of Seoul, Korea, Bae began her musical career at age three. She studied with Phillip Levy in Los Angeles, California and graduated in 2020 with her Bachelor’s degree, studying with Paul Kantor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
Bae has won awards in Korea and the United States, including the The Korea Times Competition, Alexander and Buono International Competition, Music Center Spotlight, and Mika Hasler Competition. She has appeared as a soloist in venues such as Weill Hall, Disney Hall, and Sydney Town Hall. When she was 16, she became the youngest concertmaster of the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles.
In 2018, Bae attended Taos School of Music, working with pianists Robert McDonald and Thomas Sauer, as well as the Borromeo, Miro, and Brentano Quartets. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree with Don Weilerstein at the New England Conservatory of Music Professional String Quartet Program.
Justin DeFilippis completed his Master’s Degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music under the tutelage of Cho-Liang Lin, and his Bachelor’s Degree at New England Conservatory working with Donald Weilerstein. He currently studies with Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo String Quartet.
In high school, DeFilippis attended the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, studying with Elizabeth Chang and graduating with the Commencement Award. An avid chamber musician, he has coached and played with members of the Brentano, Pacifica, Miro, Shanghai, Cleveland, Dover, and Ying Quartets as well as the Peabody Trio.
He was a two-time participant of the Taos School of Music, and attended the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program, the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, and received the Kaplan Fellowship at the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
DeFilippis was a National Finalist in the MTNA Competition Junior Division. Recently, he performed alongside Cho-Liang Lin and Jon Kimura Parker, members of Silkroad, and served as concertmaster of the Shepherd School Symphony.
Zannoni currently studies with Martha Katz. He earned degrees from the Manhattan School of Music’s Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program and Orchestral Performance Program, as well as the Juilliard School and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He also studied under Karen Dreyfus, Pinchas Zukerman, Patinka Kopec, Heidi Castleman, Robert Vernon, and James Dunham and has played in masterclasses for Koichiro Harada, Kazuhide Isomura, Roberto Diaz, Lawrence Dutton, Richard O’Neil, Richie Hawley, and Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot.
Zannoni has participated in numerous festivals, including the Young Artists Program at the National Arts Center in Ottawa Canada, Music Academy of the West, Sejong International Music Festival, and the Heifetz International Music Institute.
The Quartet’s cellist Houston has also received top prizes in numerous competitions, including at the Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, Lennox International Young Artist Competition, Mondavi National Young Artists Competition, Sorantin International Competition, and the Samuel and Elinore Thaviu Competition.
He has performed as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Plano Symphony Orchestra and made festival appearances the Aspen Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, New York String Orchestra, Sarasota Music Festival, Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Pyongchang Music Festival, and Taos School of Music.
Houston shared the stage with renowned artists such as Denis Bouriakov, Cho-Liang Lin, Brinton Smith, and members of the Cleveland and Dover Quartets. He is now pursuing a graduate diploma under the tutelage of Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory. He holds degrees from the Colburn Conservatory, Northwestern University, and Rice University. His primary teachers include Clive Greensmith, Hans Jensen, and Brinton Smith.
Tickets for the Balourdet Quartet’s Tuesday performance are available at the concert door for $30; with the doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Paul’s Church, 20 Fair Street. Tickets may also be purchased in advance at the Antiques Depot, 2 South Beach St.
The sixth and final performance in Nantucket Musical Arts Society’s 64th summer concert season will feature pianist Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner on August 15.
For more information about the Balourdet Quartet’s concert this Tuesday, the final performance in this summer’s concert series next week, or to learn more about NMAS in general, call 508- 228-1287 or visit the Society online at nantucketmusicalartssociety.org.