Chamber Music Conversations from the Clark: Verona Quartet

Sunday, May 2, 2021
4:00 pm PDT – 5:30 pm PDT

Presented online via Zoom webinar

Join us for an exclusive online event featuring a concert performed by the Verona Quartet just for our audience, followed by a live Q & A with the musicians moderated by Bruce Whiteman, Clark Librarian Emeritus. Audience members will have the opportunity to pose questions via Zoom Group Chat.

To learn more about Chamber Music Conversations from the Clark and view videos from the series, visit:


Reena Esmail (1983 )
String Quartet (Ragamala)

Fantasie (Bihag)
Scherzo (Malkauns)
Recitativo (Basant)
Rhondo (Jōg)

Antonín Dvořák (18411904)
String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, op. 96, “American Quartet”

Allegro ma non troppo
Molto vivace
Finale: Vivace ma no troppo

Program notes by Bruce Whiteman.

Verona Quartet

Jonathan Ong, violin
Dorothy Ro, violin
Abigail Rojansky, viola
Jonathan Dormand, cello

Acclaimed for its “bold interpretive strength, robust characterization and commanding resonance” (Calgary Herald), the Verona Quartet has spellbound audiences worldwide, unlocking the secrets of the music through the “intimate way they communicate with each other and the audience.” (Boston Arts Fuse)

Delicate craftsmanship, luminous sound, and a dramatic poise are all hallmarks of the virtuosity that fuses together violinists Jonathan Ong, Dorothy Ro, violist Abigail Rojansky, and cellist Jonathan Dormand to create the Verona Quartet. The group’s singular sense of purpose earned them Chamber Music America’s coveted Cleveland Quartet Award 2020, and a reputation as an “outstanding ensemble…cohesive yet full of temperament” (The New York Times). Deeply committed educators, the Verona Quartet serves as Quartet-in-Residence at the Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio.

A string quartet for the 21st century, the Verona Quartet champions the storied history of the string quartet alongside music that reflects the current world in which we live. This includes contemporary work written and commissioned for them by composers Julia Adolphe, Sebastian Currier, Corey Dundee, Texu Kim, and Michael Gilbertson. The Quartet has cultivated a dynamic approach to collaboration and programming that includes cross-cultural and interdisciplinary enterprises. Recent projects feature performances with dancers from Brooklyn’s Dance Heginbotham, artistic exchanges with traditional Emirati poets in the UAE, and collaborations with Grammy-winning folk supergroup I’m With Her.

The Verona Quartet has appeared across four continents enchanting audiences at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, and Melbourne Recital Hall. They have also appeared at festivals that include, La Jolla Summerfest, Chamber Music Northwest, Caramoor, Bravo! Vail, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As Ensemble-in-Residence with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle in North Carolina, the Verona Quartet curates the UpClose Chamber Music series, bringing the visceral energy of classical music to diverse audiences in venues that range from concert halls to craft breweries.

In addition to their Oberlin residency, the Verona Quartet holds residency positions at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Lunenburg, NS), as well as Indiana University Summer String Academy (Bloomington, IN). Each year, reaching thousands of people, the Verona Quartet’s community and educational workshops inspire new listeners and performers through the joys of chamber music.

The Verona Quartet rose to international prominence after rapidly sweeping top prizes at the Wigmore Hall, Melbourne, Osaka, M-Prize International Chamber Music Competitions, and the Concert Artists Guild Competition.

The ensemble’s “thoughtful, impressive” performances (Cleveland Classical) emanate from the spirit of storytelling. The Quartet believe that the essence of storytelling transcends genre and therefore the name “Verona” pays tribute to William Shakespeare, one of the greatest storytellers of all time.

Verona Quartet is represented by Concert Artists Guild:

Chamber Music at the Clark is made possible by the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation; The Colburn Foundation; Martha Bardach; Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Ph.D. and Barbara Timmer; Dr. Marla C. Berns; Dr. Rogers Brubaker; Patricia Chock; Regina and Bruce Drucker; Beth S. Farb; Susan Harris; Judy and Sam Hellinger; Henry J. Bruman Endowment for Chamber Music; Dr. Sheldon H. Kardener and Monika Olofsson Kardener; Carol Krause; Mari and Edmund D. Edelman Foundation for Music and Public Service; Elaine and Bernie Mendes; Janet and Henry Minami; Bette I. and Jeffrey L. Nagin; Joyce Perry; Jeanne Robson; Jackie and Charles Schwartz; Dr. Patricia Bates Simun and Mr. Richard V. Simun Memorial Fund; Patricia Waldron, M.D., and Richard Waldron; and Roberta and Robert Young.

Image by Dario Acosta