Avalon String Quartet

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The Avalon's 2015 release Illuminations on Cedille Records followed successful efforts for the Albany label, along with performances at major venues.
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The Avalon String Quartet, based in Chicago, has extended its reach across the U.S. and beyond, with performances at major venues and festivals in Europe. The group, serving as quartet-in-residence at Northern Illinois University, has a varied résumé of educational accomplishments as well. Of the quartet's four members, only violist Anthony Devroye is American; violinist Blaise Magniere is French, violinist Marie Wang Canadian, and cellist Cheng-Hou Lee Taiwanese. The group came together at the Norfolk (Connecticut) Chamber Music Festival in 1995 and gained the attention of violinist Isaac Stern after participating in his chamber music workshop at Carnegie Hall two years later. That led to invitations to perform at Stern's Chamber Music Encounters series in Jerusalem, and at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York. The Avalon String Quartet also had training from the Juilliard Quartet in New York, the Emerson Quartet at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, and at Northern Illinois with the Vermeer Quartet, whom they succeeded as quartet-in-residence. They won the top prize at Munich's ARD Competition in 2000. The group has also performed at the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully Hall, several other New York venues, Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the National Gallery of Art and Library of Congress in Washington, Wigmore Hall in London, and Munich's Herculessaal. Major festival appearances include those at the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, and the Bath International Music Festival and Aldeburgh Festival in Britain. Closer to home, they have performed a regular concert series at the Art Institute of Chicago and have appeared at the summer Ravinia Festival in the city's suburbs. The Avalon's recording career began in 2002 on the Channel Classics label with Dawn to Dusk, an album featuring quartets by Janacek and Ravel. They have also recorded for Albany, the Chicago label Cedille, and Naxos, for whom they issued an album of quartets by Matthew Quayle in 2018.