The news these days is full of examples of selfish, destructive behavior – lucky for me, I’m part of something that shows what can be achieved with cooperation and compromise.

Readers of this blog know I’ve been talking for a long time about my dream of being part of a chamber ensemble, and it’s finally happening. Meet 4-Way, Cincinnati’s String Quartet.


With me from left, violinist Sujean Kim, violist Kevin Boden and violinist William Manley. I am so glad these guys agreed to do this – quartet playing is the most gratifying kind of music making there is, and it’s especially so when you’re getting to work with people you care about and respect!

We have been busy rehearsing for our first concert, taking place Sunday, March 13 at 2:30 P.M., in Cincinnati’s beautiful Taft Museum of Art. In celebration of the Taft’s new Impressionist exhibit, we’ll be playing Ravel’s String Quartet, along with Beethoven’s Op. 18 #6 and short pieces by Gershwin and tango master Carlos Gardel.

Readers of this blog know I have little patience for the distance classical music’s traditions place between performers and audience. Central to 4-Way’s mission is removing that distance. The March 13 concert will have the quartet surrounded by the audience (Beethoven in the round) – no matter where you sit, you’ll have a great view of the interplay that makes quartets so compelling. We’ll also make a point of talking to the audience about everything we play, and will present concerts in settings that encourage new listeners to come, like schools, community centers and offices.

We’re also looking for a home – actually, several! In the fall, 4-Way will begin providing free lessons and chamber music coachings to underserved children in our city – we’re currently in discussion with several local schools to find the right place. In support of this essential part of the group’s mission, we’ll be holding fundraising house concerts over the next few months – if you want to host one, please let me know! We’ll also be having a crowdfunding campaign in the coming months – more on that soon.

In the coming weeks, we’ll also be posting stories and short videos from rehearsals, as well as profiles of  members of the group, with conversations about what makes chamber music so special to us. All these will be on the quartet’s website, as well as our Facebook page (please take a moment and give us a like!).

If you’re in Cincinnati, I hope to see you on the 13th at the Taft Museum! If not, there’ll be more to come soon!

Till next time,


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