Blaise Magniere, violin
Marie Wang, violin
Anthony Devroye, viola
Cheng-Hou Lee, cello
Described by the Chicago Tribune as "an ensemble that invites you-ears, mind, and spirit- into its music", the Avalon String Quartet has established itself as one of the country's leading chamber music ensembles.
In the 2011-2012 season the Avalon performed the complete Beethoven quartet cycle at the Art Institute of Chicago in historic Fullerton Hall. During the 2013-2014 season, the quartet will be embarking on the complete Bartok cycle at the Art Institute of Chicago. In each of the six concerts a different Bartok quartet will be paired with another masterpiece from the string quartet repertoire.They have performed in many major venues including Alice Tully Hall, 92nd St Y, Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington DC; Wigmore Hall in London and Herculessaal in Munich. Other performances include appearances at the Caramoor Music Festival, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, NPR's St Paul Sunday, Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Bargemusic, Dame Myra Hess Series and the Ravinia Festival. The quartet captured the top prize at the ARD Competition in Munich (2000) as well as the First Prize at Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York (1999).
The Avalon is quartet-in-residence at the Northern Illinois University School of Music, a position formerly held by the distinguished Vermeer Quartet. As a part of their residency, they perform an annual concert series in Chicago and DeKalb, and the quartet members teach individual studios and coach chamber music at the school. This follows previous residencies at the Juilliard School and at Indiana University South Bend. Additional teaching activities have included the Interlochen Advanced Quartet Program, Madeline Island Music Camp, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute and the Britten-Pears School in England.
In 2010 the quartet released a CD of contemporary American works on the Albany label to much critical acclaim. The Avalon Quartet's debut CD, Dawn to Dusk, including the Ravel and the Janacek Second Quartets, was honored with the 2002 Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Award for best chamber music recording.
The Quartet's live performances and conversation are frequently featured on Chicago's WFMT-FM, including a recent nationally syndicated live broadcast of Exploring Music with Bill MacGlaughlin. They have also been heard on New York's WQXR-FM and WNYC-FM, National Public Radio's Performance Today, Canada's CBC, Australia's ABC, the ARD of Germany and France Musique.