R. MURRAY SCHAFER: String Quartet No. 2 “Waves”
TCHAIKOVSKY: String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11
MATT AUCOIN: A Clear Midnight
  Leave Me Loathsome Light
  Were You There
  Sweet Lil’ Jesus Boy
  Nobody Knows 
  We Shall Overcome
  Amazing Grace

The second half of the program is entitled “Were You There” and is a set of theatrically staged songs, ranging from Spirituals to a new piece composed by Matthew Aucoin, resulting in a climactic Amazing Grace. Were You There is about moving from darkness to light. It’s both a memorial for death and a celebration of life—it’s about how our voices can lift us up and serve to remember.


Barry Shiffman on bass-baritone Davone Tines and the Were You There program

Davone Tines on the power of spirituals


Rolston String Quartet

Luri Lee, violin  | Emily Kruspe, violin | Hezekiah Leung, viola | Jonathan Lo, cello

The lauded Rolston String Quartet has made a name for itself in recent years thanks to its many prestigious awards and competition achievements, including taking major prizes at the Banff, Astral, Yellow Springs, M-Prize and Bordeaux competitions. They have also just been awarded the coveted Cleveland Quartet Award. 

“they (Rolston’s) performed with a maturity and cohesion rivaling the best string quartets in the world.” –Musical Toronto

On the heels of their Banff win, the Rolstons immediately embarked upon the Competition’s tour, taking them to Germany, Italy, Austria, Canada, and the U.S. In the fall of 2017, the Rolston String Quartet became the Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence. They have previously served as the graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and 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.

Notable collaborations for the RSQ include performances with renowned artists Andrés Díaz, Gilbert Kalish, Mark Morris, Donald Palma, Jon Kimura Parker, and Miguel da Silva, as well as worked with composers John Luther Adams and Brian Current. Their 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, Miguel da Silva, and Alastair Tait. The Rolston String Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Chamber Music Residency. They take their name from Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston, founder and longtime director of the Music and Sound Programs at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.