Rolston String Quartet - Biography

Rolston String Quartet © Bo Huang

Rolston String Quartet

Luri Lee - violin

Emily Kruspe - violin

Hezekiah Leung - viola

Jonathan Lo - violoncello

Winner of the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2016

A monumental year, 2016 saw Canada’s Rolston String Quartet earn attention and gain recognition from international audiences and critics alike. Culminating the year with a First Prize win at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC), the quartet’s winning included Astral’s National Auditions and Grand Prize of the 31st Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were also prizewinners at the 2016 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition and the inaugural M-Prize competition. There is no wonder they were named among Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2016. Rolston String Quartet continues to be recognized for their musical excellence: they are the 2018 recipient of – and first international ensemble chosen for – the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America.

On the heels of their Banff win, Rolston String Quartet immediately embarked upon the BISQC Winner’s Tour, with over 60 concerts taking them to Germany, Italy, Austria, Canada, and United States. In the 2017-18 season, they tip the 100 concert milestone with performances throughout Canada, United States, Germany, Brussels, Italy, and Israel. The quartet’s successful first European tours included performances in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Bremen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Berlin, Leipzig, Heidelberg, Tel Aviv, and at the Lucerne Festival. Next concerts will take place among others in London, Geneva, Zuerich, Barcelona, Graz and Munich.

Rolston String Quartet began as the Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence in the fall of 2017. They have also served as the graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and have participated in residencies and fellowships at the Académie musicale de Villecroze, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre, McGill International String Quartet Academy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival. Keeping in the teaching tradition, these young members are intensely involved with chamber coaching and teaching for their Yale residency, and have also taught at music festivals such as Bowdoin, Tuckamore, and others.

Notable performance collaborations for the Rolston String Quartet include renowned artists Andrés Díaz, Gilbert Kalish, Mark Morris, Arthur Rowe, Donald Palma, Alexander Korbin, Jon Kimura Parker, and Miguel da Silva. Additionally, their innovative projects have involved such artists as songwriter Kishi Bashi, and composers John Luther Adams and Brian Current. Primary mentors include the Brentano Quartet, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith, and the quartet has received additional guidance from the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Barry Shiffman, and Alastair Tait.

The Rolston String Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013. They take their name after the Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston. Luri Lee plays a Carlo Tononi violin, generously on loan from Shauna Rolston Shaw. Rolston String Quartet is endorsed by Jargar Strings of Denmark.

In 2018 the Quartet has been selected by Simone Gramaglia (Quartetto di Cremona) to take part in le Dimore del Quartetto project.