MFA in Music Composition

August 2016 String Quartet / Visiting Ensemble

August 2016 String Quartet

String quartet: Jennifer Choi, violin; Mary Rowell, violin; Jessica Meyer, viola; and Ashley Bathgate, cello.

Jennifer Choi, violin

Jennifer Choi has charted a career that breaks through the conventional boundaries of solo violin, chamber music, and the art of improvisation. Having gained a significant reputation as “a leading New York new music violinist,” (Boston Globe) she has pioneered new works and engaging performances to the forefront, and continues to play an integral role in bringing contemporary music into mainstream classical concerts.

Mary Rowell, violin

Considered by critics to be one of the most interesting and exciting performers on the contemporary scene today, the innovative violinist Mary Rowell cannot be classified. Known for her work with the Grammy Award® winning Tango Project, the indie band The Silos, and pop icon Joe Jackson, she has carved an indelible place in the contemporary classical music world with the post-classical quartet ETHEL of which she co-founded. Mary has performed, recorded and premiered countless scores of today’s composers as soloist and chamber musician.

Jessica Meyer, viola

With playing that is “fierce and lyrical” and works that are “other-worldly” (The Strad) and “evocative” (NY Times), Jessica Meyer is a versatile composer and violist whose passionate musicianship radiates accessibility, generosity, and emotional clarity. As a soloist, Jessica has premiered pieces for solo viola around the country, and is committed to expanding the repertoire for viola by commissioning new works while also composing her own.

Ashley Bathgate, cello

American cellist Ashley Bathgate has been described as an “eloquent new music interpreter” (New York Times) and “a glorious cellist” (The Washington Post) who combines “bittersweet lyricism along with ferocious chops” (New York Magazine). Her “impish ferocity”, “rich tone” and “imaginative phrasing” (New York Times) have made her one of the most sought after performers of her time. The desire to create a dynamic energy exchange with her audience and build upon the ensuing chemistry is a pillar of Bathgate’s philosophy as a performer. Her affinity to dynamism drives Bathgate to venture into previously uncharted areas of ground-breaking sounds and techniques, breaking the mold of a cello’s traditionally perceived voice.