Praised for their "intelligence" and “immensely satisfying” playing by the New York Times, the Amernet String Quartet has garnered recognition as one of today's exceptional string quartets and are Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami. Their sound has been called “complex” but with an “old world flavor.” Strad Magazine described the Amernet as “...a group of exceptional ability.”
The Amernet's performance schedule has taken the quartet across the Americas and to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. They have collaborated with many of today's most prominent artists and ensembles including the Tokyo and Ying quartets as well as Shmuel Ashkenasi, Roberto Diaz, Gary Hoffman, Ida Kavafian, Anthony McGill, Joseph Kalichstein, Sherrill Milnes, and Michael Tree.
Internationally, the quartet has appeared at major festivals around the world, including Cervantino, San Miguel de Allende, Aviv (Israel), and Colima (Mexico), while in Germany a critic commented that their playing was “fascinating, with flawless intonation, extraordinary beauty of sound, virtuosic brilliance, and homogeneity of ensemble.” (Nürnberger Nachrichten). The Amernet's U.S. engagements have included the Kennedy Center, the Tilles Center, Caramoor, Ensemble Music Society, the Great Lakes Festival, Newport, Friends of Chamber Music in Arizona and Syracuse, LPR in New York City, Chamber Music Society of Louisville, Music on the Edge in Pittsburgh, the University of Maine - Collins Center, and Market Square Concerts. The Amernet has also appeared as quartet soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony under Alan Gilbert and at West Virginia University and Gettysburg College. Earlier in their career, the Amernet won the gold medal at the Tokyo International Music Competition before being named first prize winners of the prestigious Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Prior to their current position at Florida International University, the Amernet held posts as Corbett String Quartet-in-Residence at Northern Kentucky University and at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Additionally, the ensemble served as the Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for the Arts.
In its frequent touring, the Amernet has conducted workshops and master classes in Buffalo, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New Orleans, among other cities, as well as visiting residencies at colleges and universities including Columbia, Penn State, Princeton, Western Illinois, and Williams and abroad in Colombia, Israel, Mexico, and Serbia among others. The Amernet String Quartet has received grants from the Corbett Foundation, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the LaSalle Foundation, the Fine Arts Fund, the Cincinnati Chamber Music Society, and the Amernet Society for school outreach projects, the commissioning of new chamber music works, and their concert and conversation series. The group was the recipient of a Chamber Music Rural Residency Award during which they divided their time among the communities of Johnstown, Somerset, and Indiana, Pennsylvania.
The Amernet has always been committed to the music of our time and has commissioned works from many of today's leading composers, working closely with artists including Anthony Brandt, Guillermo Carbo, John Corigliano, Orlando Garcia, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Pierre Jalbert, Fredrick Kaufman, Bernard Rands, Augusta Read Thomas, and Chinary Ung. Additionally, the group has made many recordings, among which are works of John Harbison with Charles Neidich; The Butterflies Began to Sing by Morton Subotnick; albums of quartets by the American composers Stephen Dankner, Steven Gerber, and Judith Lang Zaimont; the music of Dmitri Tymoczko; and the Chausson Concert with James Tocco and Yehonatan Berick. In addition, the Amernet is keen on exploring novel collaborative projects and has appeared with Cantor Netanel Hershtik, jazz pianist Steve Allee, Josée Garant Dance, and the Kruger Brothers.
The Amernet actively advocates for neglected works of the past and aims to enliven the concert experience through its innovative programming, which features a focus on composers of the Jewish diaspora and ‘re-imaginations’ for quartet by composer Jeffery Briggs of the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven.
The Amernet String Quartet's current season includes tours throughout Europe and Latin America as well as the premieres of several new works for quartet and return engagements throughout the US and Israel.
Misha Vitenson, violinist, began violin studies with his father, Yuri Vitenson, in his native city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In 1990, Misha immigrated to Israel and continued his studies with Chaim Taub. During his time in Israel, Mr. Vitenson won numerous prizes and awards, including annual America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships and the prestigious Braun Zingel Award as winner of a competition held at the Rubin Music Academy in Jerusalem.
In 1996, Mr. Vitenson continued his studies with Sergiu Schwartz at the Harid Conservatory. He was subsequently awarded top prizes in international violin competitions, including Premio Paganini (Italy, 1998) and Pablo de Sarasate (Spain, 1997) and First Prize in the 1998 Città d’Andria International Violin Competition (Italy). Mr. Vitenson was the winner of the 1999 Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition and First Prizewinner at the 2000 National Society of Arts and Letters Violin Competition and is also both a two-time winner of the Harid Conservatory Concerto Competition and a two-time recipient of the Harid Conservatory’s Joseph Gingold Award for Excellence (1998 & 2000). Mr. Vitenson’s recent engagements have included appearances as soloist with all the major orchestras in Israel, including the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Padova e Venetto Orchestra on tour in Brazil, the National Uzbekistan Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival Symphonia Orchestra, the Harid Philharmonia, and the Harid Chamber Strings. Mr. Vitenson has given recitals and chamber music concerts throughout Israel, the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. As a member of the Kinneret Piano Trio, he participated in the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall in 1995.
After receiving the Bachelor of Music from Harid Conservatory School of Music at Lynn University, Mr. Vitenson became a student of Joel Smirnoff at the Juilliard School, where he earned the Master of Music Degree. There he appeared as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra in Avery Fisher Hall under the baton of Hugh Wolff. In the fall of 2002, Mr. Vitenson joined the Amernet String Quartet and the faculty at Northern Kentucky University as an Artist-in-Residence, teaching violin and chamber music. Currently, he is Artist-in-Residence at Florida International University.
A native New Yorker, Avi Nagin joined the Amernet String Quartet as Second Violin in August 2019. Nagin has also joined the faculty of Florida International University, where the quartet serves as Ensemble-in-Residence. An active recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and educator, Nagin has performed in collaboration with members of the Ebène and Orion Quartets, as well as with Paul Coletti, Benny and Eric Kim, Ronald Leonard, Julian Schwarz, Ole Okahoshi, J.Y. Song, Kathryn Lockwood, and Gil Morgenstern. In 2019, Nagin served as Associate Concertmaster of the Sarasota Opera, also leading the orchestra as Concertmaster in the company’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Prior to joining the Amernet, Nagin was Principal 2nd Violin of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Principal 2nd Violin of Symphony in C, section violin with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and regularly performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Nagin’s 2019 summer festival appearances included a return engagement performing chamber music at An Appalachian Summer Festival (NC), the Artosphere Festival (AR), Maverick Concerts (NY), Bargemusic (NY), and he was on faculty at East Tennessee State University’s inaugural chamber music festival. Additionally, Nagin performed with the renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in NYC. In past summers, Nagin has served as Concertmaster of the Lake George Music Festival (NY) and Principal 2nd Violin of the Manchester Music Festival (VT).
As an educator in the NY area, Nagin was faculty assistant to Dr. Ann Setzer at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, violin faculty and chamber music coordinator at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music (NJ), chamber music faculty for the New York Youth Symphony, and a “Teaching Artist” with Yale University’s Music in Schools Initiative. During his time as a student, Nagin attended prestigious masterclasses and festivals around the world, including appearing twice at the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove (UK), where he performed in masterclasses for Philippe Graffin, András Keller, and legendary violinist Ivry Gitlis. At Carnegie Hall, Nagin was the youngest participant invited to appear in Leon Fleisher’s Brahms Chamber Music Workshop, where he worked with Mr. Fleisher, Yo-Yo Ma, and Pamela Frank as well as performing at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Nagin held leadership positions in the orchestras of Tanglewood and Aspen, and also attended Kneisel Hall, the Heifetz Institute, and the Meadowmount School of Music. Nagin holds a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from The Colburn School. Nagin’s principal teachers include Ani Kavafian, Robert Lispett, Daniel Phillips, and Ann Setzer, as well as violin and chamber music studies with Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarneri Quartet.
Born in 1978 in Rochester, NY, Michael Klotz has established an international reputation as a performer and pedagogue of the viola. Klotz made his solo debut with the Rochester Philharmonic at the age of 17 and has since then appeared worldwide as soloist with orchestra, recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal. After a performance of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with violist Roberto Diaz, the Portland Press-Herald proclaimed, “this concert squelched all viola jokes, now and forever, due to the talents of Diaz and Klotz”. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently proclaimed Michael Klotz to be “a superb violist, impressive, with an exceptionally attractive sound,” and the Miami Herald has consistently lauded his “burnished, glowing tone and nuanced presence.”
Klotz joined the Amernet String Quartet in 2002 and has toured and recorded commercially with the ensemble throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Romania, Colombia, Belgium, and Spain. His festival appearances have included Seattle, Newport, Caramoor, ChamberFest Cleveland, Festival Mozaic, Great Lakes, Mediterranean Notes Festival (Montenegro), Cervantino, Festival Baltimore, Festival Mozaic, Piccolo Spoleto, Sunflower, Martha’s Vineyard, Skaneateles, Virginia Tech Vocal Arts and Music Festival, San Miguel de Allende, Beverly Hills, Music Mountain, Bowdoin, Madeline Island, and Miami Mainly Mozart.
Passionately dedicated to chamber music, Klotz regularly performs with many of today’s most esteemed artists. He has appeared as guest violist with the Borromeo, Shanghai and Ying Quartets, the Manhattan Piano Trio, and has performed with artists such as Shmuel Ashkenasi, Arnold Steinhardt, Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Augustin Hadelich, Andrés Cárdenes, Paul Neubauer, Vadim Gluzman, Gary Hoffman, Clive Greensmith, Michael Tree, Andres Diaz, Cynthia Phelps, Roberto Diaz, Joseph Kalichstein, Jon Nakamatsu, Franklin Cohen, and Alexander Fiterstein, as well as with many principal players from major U.S. and European orchestras. In 2015 he was named a Charter Member of the Ensemble with the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth and regularly appears on this series. In 2002 and 2009, he was was invited by Maestro Jaime Laredo to perform with distinguished alumni at anniversary concerts of the New York String Orchestra Seminar in Carnegie Hall.
Klotz is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded the Performer’s Certificate. In 2002 he became one of the few individuals to be awarded a double Master’s Degree in violin and viola from the Juilliard School. At Juilliard, he was the recipient of the Tokyo Foundation and Gluck Fellowships. His principal teachers and influences include Zvi Zeitlin, Lynn Blakeslee, Lewis Kaplan, Toby Appel, Peter Kamnitzer, and Shmuel Ashkenasi.
Klotz is a dedicated teacher and serves as Teaching Professor and Artist-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami, where he teaches viola and chamber music. Additionally, he mentors a select number of highly gifted pre-college students. Klotz has recently presented acclaimed master classes at the New World Symphony, Cincinnati Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Michigan, Penn State University, University of Nevada – Las Vegas, Ithaca College, Texas Christian University, and West Virginia University. He is currently a member of the faculty of The Heifetz International Music Institute, an Artistic Advisor and viola faculty of The Josef Gingold Festival of Miami, and a viola coach at the New World Symphony. His former students currently attend and are graduates of prestigious conservatories, including the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music and are already achieving leading roles in the music world. Michael was recently featured in the “Mind Over Finger” podcast series, the November 2013 issue of the “Alumni Spotlight” in the Juilliard Journal and as the subject of Strad Magazine’s “Ask the Teacher” column in the November 2013 issue.
Michael Klotz resides in Hallandale Beach, FL with his wife Kelly and sons Jacob and Natan, as well as two dachshunds named Noodle and Strudel, and a Great Dane named Auggi/Cow.
Cellist Jason Calloway has performed to acclaim throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East as soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared at festivals including Lucerne, Spoleto USA, Darmstadt, Klangspuren (Austria), Acanthes (France), Perpignan, Valencia, Citta’ della Pieve (Italy), Jerash (Jordan), Casals (Puerto Rico), Blossom, Brevard, Great Lakes, Kingston, Rockport, Sedona, Sarasota, Music Academy of the West, the New York String Seminar, and Encore. Currently cellist of the Amernet String Quartet, Artists-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami, Mr. Calloway was previously a member of the Naumburg award-winning Biava Quartet, formerly in residence at the Juilliard School.
He has collaborated in chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Curtis, Juilliard, and Miami quartets and with principal players of most of the world’s leading orchestras, as well as with artists including Shmuel Ashkenasi, Roberto Diaz, Gary Hoffman, Ida Kavafian, Kim Kashkashian, Ricardo Morales, and the Penderecki and Tokyo quartets. Mr. Calloway gave his Carnegie Hall recital debut under the auspices of Artists International and has also been heard in New York at Alice Tully Hall, Steinway Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the 92nd Street Y, and the Polish Consulate; in Los Angeles at Disney Hall, the Bing Theatre, the Skirball Center and Pepperdine University; in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center and at Strathmore; in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music, the Ethical Society, and the Kimmel Center; and live on NPR, WFMT (Chicago), KMZT (Los Angeles), WQXR (NYC), WFLN (Philadelphia), and on RAI television (Italy).
A devoted advocate of new music, Mr. Calloway has performed with leading ensembles around the world as well as alongside members of Ensemble Modern and the Arditti and JACK quartets, and with the New Juilliard Ensemble both in New York and abroad, in addition to frequent appearances in Philadelphia with Bowerbird, Soundfield, and Network for New Music. Among the hundreds of premieres he has presented are solo and ensemble works of Berio, Knussen, Lachenmann, and Pintscher, and he has collaborated intensively with some of today’s most important composers including Birtwistle, Carter, Davidovsky, Dusapin, Henze, Hosokawa, Husa, Franke, Rihm, and Yannay. As a dedicated supporter of young composers, he has for several seasons presented a series of concerts of solo cello works newly composed for him, most recently at Harvard and Temple universities, and at Spoleto USA gave the public premiere of Yanov-Yanovsky’s Hearing Solutions for cello and ensemble, in addition to recent appearances at Bowdoin College, the College of Charleston, Princeton University, and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
Mr. Calloway prizes his work with Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble InterContemporain, both at the Lucerne Festival and at the Zug (Switzerland) Kunsthaus in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Serenade as part of a major Kandinsky/Gerstl exhibit, in addition to his collaborations with the violinist Gilles Apap and with tap dancer Savion Glover. He is also artistic director of Shir Ami (www.shiramimusic.com), an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of Jewish art music suppressed by the Nazis and Soviets, and with which he appears frequently across the US and in the ensemble’s varied performances in Austria and Hungary; and In Flux, an ensemble committed to performing vocal chamber music by the leading composers of today and the recent past. A native of Philadelphia, Jason Calloway is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of Southern California. His teachers have included Ronald Leonard, Orlando Cole, Rohan de Saram, Lynn Harrell, Fred Sherry, Robert Cafaro, Joel Sachs, Felix Galimir, Luis Biava, and Seymour Lipkin. Mr. Calloway is grateful for the assistance of the Maestro Foundation.
The group is fun to watch…as the members play with such evident enjoyment
The Boston Musical Intelligencer
…a group of exceptional technical ability
Amernet String Quartet displays inspiration and musical integrity
The Globe and Mail, Toronto
Fascinating, with flawless intonation, extraordinary beauty of sound, virtuosic brilliance and homogeneity of ensemble.
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