This performance by the Abeo Quartet took place on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 2:00 pm.
|Ludwig van Beethoven||String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 18:5||1799|
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||String Quartet No. 19 in C major “Dissonant”, K. 465||1785|
|Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky||The Nutcracker (selections), Op. 71||1892|
About the Quartet
Formed at Juilliard in 2018, the Abeo Quartet was the inaugural Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the University of Delaware under the mentorship of the Calidore String Quartet. Abeo’s recent accomplishments include winning Third Prize at the 2023 Bad Tölz International String Quartet Competition and being among ten quartets invited to participate in the 14th Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2022. The quartet was also a First Prize and Audience Favorite Prize winner in the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles and Silver Medal winner of the Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition, both in 2022. Abeo was also a finalist in the 2021 Young Concert Artists International Competition and the silver medal winner of the 2019 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
One of the quartet’s earliest performances was at The Kennedy Center’s Reach Festival with distinguished pianist Joseph Kalichstein in 2019. Highlights of Abeo’s 2022-2023 season include performances at Music@Menlo, Schneider Concert Series, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and collaborations with members of the Calidore, Dover and Emerson string quartets.
Abeo has also appeared at Alice Tully Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s masterclass series with the Danish String Quartet, and on WQXR’s Midday Masterpieces. Abeo was invited to perform in Norway’s 2019 Vertavo Festival, performing seven Haydn string quartets and was in residence at the Glenstone Museum, debuting “Moonshot” by Alistair Coleman. The quartet has studied and performed at Music@Menlo and at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival with the Brentano String Quartet. At the Montreal International String Quartet Academy, Abeo has been coached by members of Quatuor Ebene, Alban Berg, Takács, Artemis, Cecilia and Meta4 String Quartets.
During their time at Juilliard, Abeo studied regularly in the Honors Chamber Music Program under the tutelage of The Juilliard String Quartet with Joseph Lin, Astrid Schween and Roger Tapping. The quartet chose the name Abeo / ah - bey - oh / — an expression of joy in a Nigerian dialect — to reflect their love for playing chamber music and sharing it with others.
About the Artists
Described as “superb” by the Chicago Classical Review, violinist Njioma Chinyere Grevious is an emerging, passionate and versatile solo, chamber and orchestral musician and performer. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School and a winner of its John Erskine Prize for scholastic and artistic achievement. In 2023, Njioma won both the Robert F. Smith First Prize and the Audience Choice awards in the Senior Division of the Sphinx Competition and joint prizes in the CAG/YCAT auditions. In 2022, she was the winner of concerto competitions at the University of Delaware and the Newark Symphony Orchestra. Njioma was also a winner of the Music Academy of the West Keston-Max Fellowship to study and perform in the London Symphony Orchestra in November 2022. She won First Prizes for Performance and Interpretation in the 2018 Prix Ravel in Fontainebleau, France.
As a soloist, Njioma has appeared with the Chicago Philharmonic, the Western Michigan Symphony and the Newark Symphony Orchestra. A founding member of the Abeo Quartet, Njioma recently completed graduate studies with Ryan Meehan and the Calidore String Quartet at the University of Delaware where she was also a fellow in the inaugural Graduate String Quartet in Residence Program.
Njioma is a frequent chamber music series player and has performed in festivals including the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Perlman Chamber Music Workshop, Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Montreal International String Quartet Academy, Meadowmount, Fontainebleau Schools and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
An Indiana native, Rebecca Benjamin is an engaging and versatile musician who has made appearances across the United States and abroad. At home on both the violin and the viola, Rebecca is an active performer on both instruments.
As a chamber musician, Rebecca has participated in the Music@Menlo Festival, MISQA, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Aspen Music Festival, Aspen Wu Han/David Finkel Chamber Studio, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Mimir Chamber Music Festival, St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and Caroga Lake Music Festival.
An experienced orchestral player, Ms. Benjamin is currently the associate principal violist of Symphony in C. She has performed in Carnegie Hall as concertmaster of the New York String Orchestra Seminar and has also been a member of the Hartford Symphony and Akron Symphony orchestras.
Ms. Benjamin graduated summa cum laude from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She earned a Master of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music, where she was awarded the Broadus Erle Prize in Violin. Her principal teachers include Hyo Kang, Jaime Laredo, Jan Sloman, Joel Smirnoff, Almita and Roland Vamos, and Derek Reeves. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Viola Performance from the University of Delaware under the tutelage of Elias Goldstein with a special concentration in violin with Jeffrey Myers.
Aside from her musical studies, Rebecca loves hiking, nature and photography.
Violist James Kang received his bachelor’s degree under Carol Rodland at The Juilliard School as a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Growing up in Atlanta, GA, James took up viola to complete the family string trio which led him to studies with Dr. Marilyn Seelman and ensembles such as ASYO, Georgia All State Orchestras and NYO-USA.
James is a prize winner of the American Viola Society Solo Competition, ASTA National Solo Competition, and the Atlanta Federation of Musicians Scholarship. He has performed with Itzhak Perlman and Donald Weilerstein, and worked in masterclasses with Kim Kashkashian and Jennifer Stumm. James is also active in community outreach and engagement projects including “If Music Be the Food” and in 2019, he taught young violists in Guri Santa Marcelina in Brazil. He has attended summer programs such as the Perlman Music Program Chamber Workshop, Aspen Music Festival, Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.
In his free time he enjoys thrift shopping, cooking, playing Pokémon, and spending time with his cat, Mochi.
Brian Gadbow began playing the cello at 8 years old in the Whitesboro Central School music program. He is a recent graduate of the Eastman School of music where he studied with David Ying of the Ying Quartet. At Eastman he served as a principal cellist of the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, and the Eastman Philharmonia.
His previous private teachers included Florent Renard-Payen, Suzanne Beevers, and Gregory Wood of Symphoria. In 2014 at Brian made his solo debut performing the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major with Symphoria, and the following year performed the Elgar Concerto with the Syracuse Youth Orchestra. Throughout high school he played in the NYSSMA Conference Allstate and All-Eastern Orchestras. Summer music festivals included Crane Youth Music, Orchestral Studies at New York State Summer School of the Arts, Eastern Music Festival, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Brian has previously performed at Skaneateles festival as the 2015 Robinson Award winner and was honored to perform there again in 2019 alongside ESM professors David Ying, Steven Doane, and Rosemary Elliot.
Whenever he isn’t playing music, Brian spends his time hiking and biking in nature.