Paul Laraia, viola (replacing Gilad Karni) | Aizuri Quartet | Barry Shiffman, violin  | Danny Koo, violin | Kevin Ahfat, piano

Due to unavoidable circumstances, Gilad Karni is unable to perform in this Festival concert on June 29. He will be replaced by the critically acclaimed violist Paul Laraia, well-known for his multiple competition wins and membership in both the Sejong Soloists and Catalyst Quartet.


MOZART: Duo in B-flat major for violin and viola, K.424
DVORAK: Drobnosti, Op. 75a
BRUCH: Romanze for viola and piano, Op. 85 (replacing Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet)
BRAHMS: Viola quintet, No. 1 in F major



First Prize winner of the 13th Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and the 14th Sphinx Competition, violist Paul Laraia has a multifaceted career as soloist, chamber musician, and new music advocate.  Acclaimed for offering “long lines with lyricsm and poise”, Paul has been soloist with numerous orchestras and is a principal member of the internationally acclaimed Sejong Soloists and violist of the Grammy Award winning Catalyst Quartet.  Additionally, he has been an artist at major festivals around the world and performed with artists such as Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell, and Yo-Yo Ma. Paul’s principal viola instructors have been with Choon-jin Chang (Principal viola, Philadelphia Orchestra) and Che-hung Chen, and then went on to the New England Conservatory of Music, studying under Kim Kashkashian. He then studied with Steven Dann at the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto for graduate work.

Paul believes that it is crucial to bring the highest level of classical music to all people, and actively engages in outreach performances, gives masterclasses, performs new music, and explores the boundaries of what can be traditionally presented as “classical music”.  As part of the Catalyst Quartet, Paul has brought music to inner city schools, Native American Reservations, hospitals, nursing homes, and has presented concerts to areas and communities with limited access to live concert music. Paul performs on a beautiful Hiroshi Iizuka viola in the ‘viola d’amore’ style and a Belgian bow by Pierre Guillaume.