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Lisa Smith Wengler Center to open Recital Series with Verona Quartet

Submitted by Pepperdine University
8:00 pm PDT October 13, 2016

The Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts is to open its 2016-2017 Recital Series with a performance by the versatile and dynamic Verona Quartet at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, in Raitt Recital Hall at Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

Tickets — priced at $28 for the public and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students — are available now by calling (310) 506-4522 or online at

For more information about the Verona Quartet, visit

The program is to include Joseph Haydn's “String Quartet, Op. 50, No.1;” Felix Mendelssohn's “String Quartet Op. 44, No. 2 in E minor;” and Ludwig van Beethoven's “String Quartet, Op. 59, No. 2 in E minor.” The quartet features Jonathan Ong on violin, Dorothy Ro on violin, Abigail Rojansky on viola, and Warren Hagerty on cello.

The Verona Quartet is a winner of the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, following in a long line of successful CAG string quartets, such as the Alexander, Miami, Parker and Pacifica Quartets. It was the Pacifica Quartet who mentored the Verona foursome when they formed in 2013 at Indiana University, and in less than three years the Verona Quartet have set themselves apart as one of the most compelling young quartets in chamber music.

In the 2015-2016 school year, Verona Quartet was honored as the Graduate Resident String Quartet and its members Lisa Arnhold Fellows at The Juilliard School, where they taught classes and worked closely with members of the Juilliard String Quartet. The Juilliard School presented the Verona Quartet’s Lincoln Center debut in May 2016 at Alice Tully Hall.

The Verona Quartet has performed across four continents in venues such as Wigmore Hall (London, UK), Izumi Hall (Osaka, Japan), the National Theatre (Abu Dhabi, UAE), the Melbourne Recital Hall (Melbourne, Australia), and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.). They have also appeared on National Public Radio, “The Weekly Special” on PBS and Abu Dhabi Classical FM.

At the 2015 CAG Competition, the Verona Quartet also was awarded the BMI Commissioning Prize, resulting in a brand new work to be written for the ensemble’s February 2017 concert on the CAG Winners’ Series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In addition, the group has recently garnered top prizes at numerous competitions worldwide: Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition (née London International String Quartet Competition); Coleman Chamber Music Competition; Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition; Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition; and the eighth Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.

In summer 2016, the quartet joined the faculty of the Indiana University Summer String Academy as Quartet-in-Residence. Previously, the ensemble has served as visiting artists and teachers at several leading international institutions for music education, including the Beethoven-Haus (Bonn, Germany), Oberlin Conservatory of Music, New York University – Abu Dhabi, and the Summer String Academy at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In April 2015, they were quartet-in-residence at the Abu Dhabi Chamber Music Festival, which featured a multi-venue concert tour and collaborations with composers at New York University-Abu Dhabi and local Emirati poets at Khalifa University. The Verona Quartet members are strong proponents of community engagement and education. From 2013–2015, the quartet established a relationship with the city of Danville, Illinois, where they curated a concert series and gave outreach performances and master classes across elementary, middle and high schools in the city, resulting in an increase in public school music class enrollment to almost double the average of the state of Illinois.

The Verona Quartet’s members hail from the USA, Canada and Singapore, and hold degrees from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Eastman School of Music. Originally known as the Wasmuth Quartet, they were the inaugural Graduate Quartet-in-Residence at Indiana University, where they were mentored chiefly by the Pacifica Quartet, Alexander Kerr, Atar Arad and Eric Kim. The quartet has collaborated with artists such as Pedja Muzijevic, Jean-Michel Fonteneau and has worked with members of the Alban Berg, American, Brentano, Cavani, Cleveland, Fine Arts, Guarneri, Miami, Tokyo, Vermeer and London Haydn Quartets.

Upcoming performances in the 2016-2017 Recital Series include pianist Daniel Hsu Nov. 20, clarinetist Narek Arutyunian Feb. 12 (sold out) and cellist Jacob Shaw April 2 (sold out).


If you go … 

WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23

WHERE: Raitt Recital Hall, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu

TICKETS: (310) 506-4522 or

PRICES: $28 for public; $10 for Pepperdine students