The Euclid Quartet, a multinational chamber ensemble, performs at Saint Mary’s
Mia Marroquin | Friday, January 24, 2020
Faculty, staff, students and community members came together in O’Laughlin Auditorium on Thursday evening for a performance by the Euclid Quartet, an ensemble whose four members have ties to four different continents.
Jameson Cooper, a violinist from Great Britain, violinist Brendan Shea of the United States, violinist Luis Enrique Vargas of Venezuela and Jaqueline Choi of South Korea collectively collaborate to perform classical music across the globe. The quartet has played for audiences from Carnegie Hall to school classrooms across the country.
The Euclid Quartet is just one of many guest performers that Saint Mary’s hosts every year. Nancy Menk, chair of the music department, explained that groups are chosen based on the influence they will have on the students.
“We select groups that will serve as models of excellence for our students and that demonstrate something they can possibly aspire to themselves,” Menk said. “We have some fine young string players on our campus and bringing the Euclid Quartet to Saint Mary’s makes a lot of sense.”
While the Euclid Quartet has performed all over the country and world, their home base is located in South Bend at Indiana University South Bend, where the members teach private lessons and coach chamber music.
Founded in 1998, the quartet’s name is derived from the famous Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, home to a wealth of artistic and cultural institutions, according to the group’s website. Highlights of the Euclid Quartet’s career include global recognition as the first American string quartet to be awarded a top prize at the prestigious Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. Prior to its Japanese laurels, the quartet also won awards in numerous United States competitions.
“Bringing them to a different location [Saint Mary’s] welcomes new audiences to our campus and hopefully they will return for more performances down the road,” Menk said.
Menk believes these are the types of experiences that strengthen the relationship between Saint Mary’s and the greater South Bend community as a whole.
As an advocate for students being able to enjoy the fine arts, Menk said she feels it is important to bring guest performers and speakers to campus whenever possible to expose students to the great variety of talent that exists locally.
“Often our students are not aware of the musical artists in our region, and it is often difficult for students to get off campus to attend performances,” Menk said. “Thus, we bring the performances to them.”