Aeolus Quartet

String Quartet

Artist Website

Ensemble Members:

Nicholas Tavani & Rachel Shapiro, violins

Caitlin Lynch, viola

Jia Kim, cello

Concerts Artist Appears In

With performances acclaimed for both “high-octane” excitement (Strad) and “dusky lyricism” (New York Times), the Aeolus Quartet has been awarded prizes at nearly every major competition in the United States and performed across the globe with showings "worthy of a major-league quartet" (Dallas Morning News). Formed in 2008, the Quartet is comprised of violinists Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violist Caitlin Lynch, and cellist Jia Kim. Mark Satola of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, “The quartet has a rich and warm tone combined with precise ensemble playing (that managed also to come across as fluid and natural), and an impressive musical intelligence guided every technical and dramatic turn.” The Aeolus Quartet has performed in venues ranging from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series to Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, to Dupont Underground, a subterranean streetcar station in DC's Dupont Circle. They were the 2013-2015 Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School and are currently Quartet-in-Residence at Musica Viva NY.

Recently garnering praise by the Wall Street Journal for their “vibrant” performance in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Aeolus Quartet’s 2023-24 season also includes featured performances presented by Carnegie Hall Citywide at Madison Square Park, Chamber Music Detroit, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. The Quartet serves as the Artistic Directors for the Charles Wadsworth Piano Competition, an innovative competition with an emphasis on chamber music and a commitment to creating equal access for all applicants.

Strong advocates for contemporary music, the Aeolus Quartet has premiered works by Jonathan Bailey Holland and worked closely with composers such as John Corigliano, Keeril Makan, Missy Mazzoli, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Timothy Mauthe, and Alexandra T Bryant.

The Aeolus Quartet has released several critically acclaimed albums of classical and contemporary works through Naxos and Azica labels which are available on iTunes, Amazon, and major retailers worldwide. The Quartet’s Many-Sided Music initiative has produced two albums in an ongoing effort to promote works by American composers. The latest of these, Ariel and Other Poems, was recorded with Azica Records and released in July 2021.

The Aeolus Quartet’s numerous honors include First Prize at the Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, as well as Grand Prize at both the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were also prizewinners at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in New England. The Austin Critics' Table named the Aeolus Quartet their 2016-17 "Best Touring Performance” for Rambunctious, a collaboration with Spectrum Dance Theater.

The Quartet has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Reinberger Recital Hall at Severance Hall, The Library of Congress, Renwick Gallery, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. In addition, the quartet was featured on the hit Netflix miniseries, The Defenders.

Dedicated to sharing the joy of chamber music with new audiences, the Aeolus Quartet has been widely recognized for their highly creative and engaging educational programs. The Quartet was honored to receive a Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grant, and in recognition of the Quartet’s artistic achievement, CMA awarded this project with the “Guarneri Quartet Residency” title. This residency promoted engagement with multiple interactive performances at Duke Ellington School for the Arts, the Sitar Arts Center, and George Washington University. The Aeolus Quartet received the Educator Award presented by the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association in acknowledgment of the positive impact of their educational efforts in underserved communities. Additionally, the Quartet was awarded the John Lad Prize, which culminated in a residency involving large-scale community engagement work, masterclasses, and performances at Stanford University. The Aeolus Quartet has served as teaching faculty at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth, the Austin Chamber Music Workshop, Point CounterPoint, and the Chloe Trevor Music Academy. Working in collaboration with the University of Texas through the Rural Chamber Music Outreach Initiative, the Quartet has presented educational programs and performances in communities throughout the state of Texas. Through their multiple residencies with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit alone, the Aeolus Quartet has reached over 18,000 students in the greater Detroit metro area.

The Aeolus Quartet has been fortunate to collaborate with many of today’s leading artists, including Renee Fleming, Ida Kavafian, Joel Krosnick, Peter Wiley, Michael Tree, and Paul Neubauer. They studied extensively with the Juilliard, Guarneri, St. Lawrence, Cavani, and Miró Quartets. Other mentors include Peter Salaff, Donald Weilerstein, Itzhak Perlman, and Mark Steinberg. Members of the Quartet hold degrees from the Juilliard School, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Maryland, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Thanks to the generosity of the Five Partners Foundation, the four members play on a set of instruments by famed Brooklyn luthier Samuel Zygmuntowicz. The Quartet is named for the Greek god Aeolus, who governed the four winds. This idea of a single spirit uniting four individual forces serves as an inspiration to the members of the Aeolus Quartet as they pursue their craft.