Emory Report
September 22, 2008
Volume 61, Number 5



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22, 2008
Vega quartet welcomes new first violinist

By Jessica Moore

Fia Durrett has joined Jessica Wu, violin, Yinzi Kong, viola, and Guang Wang, cello, as the Vega String Quartet’s new first violinist. Durrett will make her 2008-09 debut with Emory’s Quartet in Residence in a free Noontime Series concert on Sept. 26 in the Carlos Museum performing Brahms’ “Quintet in F Minor” with guest pianist Jonathan Shames.

Originally from Houston, Texas, Durrett made her debut at age 18 with the Houston Symphony, playing the Brahms “Violin Concerto.”

She holds both Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, where she founded the Andros String Quartet, finalists in the 2003 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and performed in many venues around New York City, including Brooklyn’s world-renowned Bargemusic, Columbia University and Alice Tully Hall.

An avid chamber musician, she was first violinist of the Basmati Quartet, the 1998 winner of the Coleman National Chamber Music Competition and second prize winner in the 1998 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

In addition to chamber music, Durrett is committed to new music as a member of both the New Juilliard Ensemble and the International Contemporary Ensemble with whom she has given performances in the Composer Portrait Series at Columbia and the Stephan Wolpe Festival in Merkin Hall. Her primary teachers were Kenneth Goldsmith, Masao Kawasaki, Paul Katz and Fred Sherry. Durrett has also studied at the Aspen Music Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and served as concertmaster for the Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy.

Durrett has lived in Atlanta with her husband since 2004, serving as visiting professor of violin at Georgia State University and as a member of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra. Durrett is also the music director of Atlanta’s Fringe music and art organization.

The Vega’s former first violin, Blanka Bednarz, has returned to Dickinson College as assistant professor of violin and viola.

“We are so excited to welcome Fia to the Quartet and to Emory’s faculty,” says William Ransom, artistic director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta and coordinator of Vega’s residency at Emory. “The Vega has become an integral part of the cultural life of Emory and the entire Atlanta community, and we couldn’t ask for a better player or representative of Music at Emory.”

For information and a schedule of the quartet’s activities, visit www.vega4tet.com.