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Artaria Reviews...

“The precision of execution was striking. It gave the excellent Artaria Quartet a chance to do some beautifully keen, precise, self-possessed playing"
Richard Buell, Boston Globe

“Artaria impressed as a technically accomplished and stylistically adaptable group. They functioned as a smooth, well-integrated ensemble and were excellent in sound and technical capacity.”
Robert Finn, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The Artaria String Quartet communicated with superb skill, warmth and energy. Their sound was intimate and compelling, pure and elegant...a luxurious catch.”
Terry Rindfleisch, La Crosse Tribune

“A charismatic group well able to communicate their musical intent”
Walter Levine,first violin
Lasalle Quartet

“They are musically outstanding.I recommend them very highly”
Alexander Schneider, violinist
Budapest Quartet

“Thoughtful and exacting.... thoroughly convincing”
Wetzlar, Germany

“Nationally acclaimed, Artaria performed with exquisite refinement. Their technical skills cannot be overstated”
Carol Winfield, Newport Express

"The sound of the quartet is warm and rich, the phrasings distinctive and expressive, and there is that 'speaking' quality in their playing which is so indispensable for a truly fine performance. They are ready to claim their place among the best of the many excellent quartets of our day."
Eugene Lehner, violist
Kolisch Quartet

"There was not so much as a sigh throughout Wolfe Recital Hall. It's the sort of moment chamber music audiences live for."
Ron George, Corpus Christi


Violist of the ARTARIA STRING QUARTET and native Minnesotan, Annalee Wolf received her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College. After completing her Master of Music degree at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she earned a Premier Prix in viola performance from the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and subsequently studied chamber music and the humanities at the European Mozart Academy. She has performed with the North Carolina, Greensboro, Charleston, and Savannah Symphonies, as well as the European Philharmonic Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Annalee has participated in numerous national and international festivals, including the Quartet Program, the Winter Institute for String Quartets, the Kneisel Hall, Hampden-Sydney, Brandeis, Domaine Forget (Quebec) festivals, and the Cours International de Musique in Morges, Switzerland. She has frequently performed as guest artist with the West End Chamber Ensemble and the Ciompi String Quartet, and in 1995 appeared as soloist at the Eduard Tubin Music Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. Other European appearances have included concerts in Rome, Warsaw, Brussels, Budapest, Prague, Bulgaria, Croatia, and a performance for the president of Romania at his palace in Bucharest. Annalee has taught viola and chamber music at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Minnesota. She has been a student of Roland Vamos, Toby Appel, and Ervin Schiffer, and has studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Takacs, Mendelssohn, Lydian, and Haydn String Quartets.

A founding member of the critically acclaimed ARTARIA STRING QUARTET and a 2004 McKnight Fellow, violinist Nancy Oliveros has performed at renowned venues in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, and throughout the United States and Europe. She is a multi-year recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and the Heartland Fund for performance and educational outreach projects. She has collaborated with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Juilliard and Cleveland Quartets, and since moving to Minnesota, with members of the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the University of Minnesota. Prior to co-founding Stringwood, a unique summer chamber music program, she was an Artist/Teacher in Residence at the world-renowned Tanglewood Institute. With the ASQ, other festival performances include Banff, Hampden-Sydney, the New Hampshire Festival and L'Epau Festival in France. She was awarded past fellowships to Aspen, Kneisel Hall, the Florida Festival, and Brevard Music Center. Nancy was a graduate teaching assistant at The Florida State University, and Boston University where she received a Director's Award for post-graduate violin and chamber music studies with Roman Totenberg, Eugene Lehner, Raphael Hillyer, and the Muir Quartet. Further studies in Chamber Music were mentored by members of the Budapest, Emerson, Cleveland, LaSalle, and Juilliard Quartets. Nancy's principal violin teachers were Roman Totenberg, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Karen Clarke. She has served on the faculty at Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges and Viterbo University. Nancy resides in St. Paul, Minnesota where she teaches privately and co-directs the Artaria Chamber Music School. She performs on a rare 1781 Neopolitan violin by Tomaso Eberle.


Cellist Rebecca Merblumhas been dedicated to chamber music throughout her life as a cellist. Originally from Connecticut, Rebecca studied the cello at the Hartt School, working with the Emerson String Quartet and Mitchell Stern of the American String Quartet, and earned her Bachelor and Master Degrees from the Cleveland Institute and New England Conservatory. As a founding member of the Azmari Quartet, she participated in the Graduate Quartet Residency at Northern Illinois University under the tutelage of the Vermeer Quartet. The Azmari Quartet served as the Corbett String Quartet in Residence at Northern Kentucky University from 2004-2009. While performing with the Azmari Quartet, Rebecca collaborated with pianist Awadagin Pratt, Audrey Luna, Katherine Murdock, Marc Johnson, Anthony McGill, Michael Strauss and members of the Jupiter Quartet. Along with her colleagues, she also served as Co-Artistic Director of the Norse Festival. Rebecca joins the Artaria Quartet from Los Angeles where for the past six years she has cultivated a voice within the city’s diversified landscape, performing with the Salastina Chamber Music Series, Sundays at LACMA, the Green Umbrella Series (Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Classical Encounters. Additional chamber music performances involved collaborations with Michele Zukovsky (LAPhil), Martin Chalifour (LAPhil), Ronald Leonard (LAPhil), Andrew Schulman (Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra) and Panic Group, an ensemble dedicated to the presentation of new music. Rebecca was also a substitute with the LAPhil and LAOpera from 2010-2016 and performed on several film soundtracks. A dedicated teacher, Rebecca served as the Chair of the String Department at the Pasadena Conservatory where she was a member of the cello and chamber music faculties. Her students have gained recognition in numerous competitions and festivals including the Piatigorsky International Festival..

Violinist Ray Shows made his solo debut with orchestra in his native Atlanta. As a founding member of the ARTARIA STRING QUARTET, he has performed in major concert halls in New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis across the U.S. and in Europe. A 2004 winner of a prestigious McKnight Performing Artist Fellowship, Ray is a highly regarded chamber musician who has concertized with many renowned artists including Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), Eugene Drucker (Emerson Quartet), Paul Katz (Cleveland Quartet), and Raphael Hillyer (Juilliard Quartet). He was featured as a concerto soloist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, where he served as interim Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin. Other professional performance engagements include the Boston Ballet, Boston Pops Esplanade and the Boston Opera Company. Ray is passionate about 20th century music and has performed and recorded music of today's leading composers, including Gunther Schuller, Augusta Read Thomas, Marjorie Merryman and Thomas Oboe Lee, commissioning solo and chamber works for his own New Music Festivals. An Artist/Teacher in Residence at the Tanglewood Institute and a 3-time recipient of prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ray has held teaching residencies at Boston College, Viterbo University, Florida State University and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory. He received the coveted Director's Award and graduated with distinction from Boston University with his Master's Degree in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Carl Flesch protege Roman Totenberg. His BM Magna Cum Laude was received from Florida State University studying with Gerardo Ribeiro. Studies in Chamber Music were mentored by Eugene Lehner (Kolisch Quartet) and members of the Budapest, Juilliard, Emerson, Cleveland, LaSalle, Muir, and Colorado Quartets. Since 2000 Ray has been a member of the faculty of St. Olaf College and co-directs the Artaria Chamber Music School in St. Paul. Ray plays on a rare early 19th Century violin by Andre Castagneri, and a bow by Pierre Simon.




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