Mason Yu, Violin
Mason Yu has appeared as chamber musician, soloist, and concertmaster around the world and has won awards for both violin and piano. Highlights of the past few years included concerto appearances with the Lucerne Festival Academy orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music orchestra, and the Cleveland Philharmonia, working with such conductors as Pablo Heras-Casado, Jane Glover and Joel Smirnoff. In 2013, he consecutively performed both violin and piano solos at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for its Conservatory Series.
Mason has attended the Aspen Music Festival for eight summers, once as the Dorothy DeLay Fellow and most recently as part of the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies fellowship. Other music festivals include the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, the Banff Centre Chamber Music Residency, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar.
Mason received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2013 as a student of Paul Kantor, Joel Smirnoff and Ivan Zenaty. He also completed minors in economics and piano performance, studying with Gerardo Teissonniere. During his time at CIM, he won first prize in the Darius Milhaud Competition, the Institute’s concerto competition, and the Tuesday Musical Scholarship award in piano. He led the CIM orchestra at Severance Hall and the New Music ensemble as concertmaster and was a member of Cleveland Pops.
Currently, Mason is pursuing his masters degree at the New England Conservatory, studying with Donald Weilerstein. In his first year, he has served as concertmaster of the NEC orchestra, performed with the Bach Ensemble, collaborated with [nec] shivaree—the avant-garde ensemble of NEC, and performed with NEC’s graduate resident trio, Trio Cleonice, in their newly formed series Trio Cleonice and Friends. Mason also plays in a piano quartet which was offered an ensemble fellowship in the Community Performances and Partnerships Program, a program dedicated to linking NEC with the Boston community by providing musical engagement outside of the normal concert venue.
Mason is extremely fortunate to perform on an A&H Amati generously loaned by the Colburn Collection, c. 1600.
Erica Tursi, Violin
Erica Tursi, a native of Medford, NJ started violin at the age of eight. She has since performed as a soloist with the Ocean City Pops, Philharmonic of Southern NJ, Ambler Symphony, Old York Road Symphony, Battle Ground Symphony, Delaware Symphony and numerous others. A frequent recitalist, Erica has performed in venues such as The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, The Smithsonian Institute, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Severance Hall, Mixon Hall and many others.
Erica has attended festivals such as Music Academy of the West, the Perlman Music Program, Spoleto Festival, Aspen Summer Music Festival, Banff Quartet Program, Bowdoin International Music Festival, The Quartet Program and Colorado College Summer Music Festival. She attended the New York String Orchestra Seminar in 2011.
An avid orchestral musician, Erica was principal and section violin of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra for four years. She has been a section violinist of The Spoleto Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and Firelands Symphony. Erica is currently a substitute violinist of the New World Symphony and holds a position with Symphony in C where she plays under the baton of Rossen Milanov. In addition she is a member of the Juilliard Orchestra and also performs with the New Juilliard Ensemble led by Joel Sachs. Erica received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied under Concert Master of the Cleveland Orchestra, William Preucil. She is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School under the instruction of Catherine Cho. Previous teachers and mentors include Hirono Oka, David Updegraff, Kathleen Winkler and Paul Kantor.
Dedicated to bringing music in to the community, Erica performs outreach concerts throughout the New York area as part of the Gluck Community service fellowship at The Juilliard School. Additionally she holds the CLIMB Teaching Artist Fellowship, which combines literacy instruction and musical beginnings with students from New York City neighborhood schools and community organizations.
Jinsun Hong, Viola
Jinsun Hong has attended the Yellow Barn Summer Music Festival, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, the Chamber Music Workshop at the Perlman Music Program, Taos School of Music, and Great Mountain Music Festival.
At the 2006 Miyazaki International Music Festival her quartet, the Karis String Quartet, was invited to perform as representatives of Korea in the “Rising Asian Stars” concert. She has also participated in Music Sharing’s International Community Engagement Program in Mongolia, where she played in a string quartet with Midori at schools and in communities throughout Ulaanbaatar.
Other performances include being a member of the Curtis on Tour ensemble on a concert tour of New England alongside Roberto Diaz and string trio Time for Three. Ms. Hong performs frequently with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Far Cry, and has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ola Viola Sound. She has won many awards and honors, including the LISMA International Music Competition, Korean National Music Competition, and Korean-American National Competition.
Ms. Hong is a student at New England Conservatory where she studies with Roger Tapping, and is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Misha Amory.
Alex Cox, Cello
American cellist Alex Cox performs widely as a chamber musician, soloist, principal cellist and member of the Omer Quartet. Alex has appeared as a soloist under the batons of Michael Tilson Thomas, Keith Lockhart, and James Feddeck with the New World Symphony, Boston Pops, and Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. Upcoming highlights include a two-week residency in Alaska at the Sitka Music Festival’s Cello Seminar where he will perform, engage in outreach events, and study with acclaimed cellist Zuill Bailey.
Other festival appearances have included La Jolla Summerfest, Aspen Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Perlman Music Program Chamber Workshop,and the Meadowmount School where he was a teaching assistant to Melissa Kraut. He has collaborated in performance with Peter Salaff, Joan Kwuon, Paul Kantor, Joseph Silverstein, Cho Liang Lin, Merry Peckham, Carolyn Warner,Jeffrey Irvine and Melissa Kraut.
A recent graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, he earned his bachelors degree working with renowned pedagogue Melissa Kraut and studying chamber music with Peter Salaff, the Cavani Quartet, and Joel Smirnoff. While at CIM in addition to being in the Apprentice Quartet Program Alex was also Kraut’s teaching assistant, winner of the Institute’s concerto competition, Principal cellist of the CIM Orchestra, and in residence with the Cleveland Chamber Music Society for two seasons performing both on the subscription series and programs designed for public school audiences of all ages.
Currently Alex is pursuing a masters degree at the Juilliard School studying with celebrated cellist of the Orion Quartet, Timothy Eddy. At Juilliard he performs as principal cellist with the Juilliard Orchestra, and studies chamber music with Joseph Lin first violinist of the Juilliard Quartet. During the weekends he travels around New York City performing in hospitals and retirement centers through the Gluck Community Fellowship at Juilliard.Other coaches and mentors include Joel Krosnick, David Cole, Frans Helmerson, Earl Carlyss, Samuel Rhodes, the Cavani Quartet, James Dunham, Mark Steinberg, Donald Weilerstein, Paul Kantor, William Preucil, and Steven Isserlis. Alex currently plays on a cello from 1714 by French maker Claude Pierray on a generous loan from the Juilliard School.
For more information, visit Omer Quartet website at https://www.omerquartet.com/