Last summer, Rockport Music launched the Rockport fellows program. It brought violinist Danny Koo, pianist Tony Yang and a special Rockport Fellowship Quartet of young artists – violinists Boson Mo and Jennifer Murphy, violist Laila Zakzook, and cellist Julie Hereish – to the stage of the Shalin Liu Performance Center.
These young artists are competition winners in the early stages of their careers. The experience for them and for the Festival audience members is invaluable and electrifying. Barry elaborates:
I believe there is a responsibility for every established music presenting organization to invest back in the ecosystem of the arts, by nurturing emerging young artists, and by providing established artists with opportunities to create, innovate and explore. The next generation of classical music is built on the foundations we lay today, and Rockport has an opportunity to contribute directly to the vibrancy of today, and the brilliance of tomorrow.
This year, seven young artists have been chosen to represent the program. They all will be playing at this summer’s Rockport Chamber Music Festival.
Formed in 2015, the Quartet is currently String-Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute. The ensemble is driven by the belief in the power of chamber music “to contribute toward a just, egalitarian, and inclusive society”. The members are Pedro Rodríguez Rodríguez, Rebecca Anderson, Inés Picardo Molares, and Justin Goldsmith.
The Vera Quartet will be playing at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival Opening Night June 14 at 8 p.m.
KEVIN AHFAT, piano
A graduate of Juilliard (undergrad and grad), Ahfat is currently artist-in-residence at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. Last season he premiered a recently-published Saint-Saëns sonata, as well as filming and producing a mini-documentary about the work.
Kevin Ahfat will be playing multiple concerts through the last weekend of June. On June 28 at 8 p.m., he will join the Art of Time Ensemble and a cast of other artists for Take This Waltz, a program exploring waltz through the last 150 years. On June 29, Ahfat will be playing a family concert with former Rockport Fellow Danny Koo at 10 a.m., joining Gilad Kharni and others for a concert at 7:30 p.m., and participating in one of the classical cabarets, Cabaret: Musicals, at 10 p.m.
SAE YOON CHON, piano
Originally from South Korea, Chon is the 2018 winner of the Dublin International Piano Competition. He currently studies at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and will have performances at Carnegie Hall, and with the London Symphony Orchestra in the upcoming season.
Sae Yoon Chon will perform at three events during the first week of July. Chon will perform as a solo act July 3 at 2 p.m. On July 6 at 10 p.m., he will join Barry Shiffman and Jens Lindemann for Cabaret: Brass Soirée. Finally, he will perform with Max Levinson and others July 7 at 5 p.m.
LIAM SMITH, percussion
Smith is a percussionist and composer trained at Oberlin Conservatory. He works not only in orchestral music, but also in new and folkloric music, as a steel drum band director, and as a dance accompanist.
Liam Smith will be performing at Cabaret: Brass Soirée July 6 at 10 p.m. He will also join a group of musicians at Reimagining Flamenco July 11 at 8 p.m.
Look for more content on the Rockport Fellows during the Rockport Music Chamber Music Festival here and on social media!