The VEM Quartet, the graduate string quartet-in-residence at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, is the cornerstone of the newly created Armenian Music Program at UCLA which, thanks to generous donor support and the assistance of the Lark Music Society, endeavors to raise awareness and celebrate the richness and diversity of Armenian musical tradition. As part of their studies, members of the Quartet strive to cultivate an appreciation and passion for Armenian music throughout the community through musical performances, music education, outreach services, and a series of collaborations with composers to create new works dedicated to and enriching Armenian cultural heritage. The VEM Quartet, coached by the members of the UCLA string faculty, has also worked with such musicians as David Starobin, Nickolas Kitchen, and Tigran Mansuian. The Quartet performed at various venues in Los Angeles such as Zipper Hall, Bing Theater, Schoenberg Hall, Hammer Museum, as well as in Santa Fe, NM, and at the Incontri in Terra di Sierra Festival in Tuscany, Italy, in July of 2014. In his review of their performance in Italy, critic Laurence Vittes writes: "The evening's most memorable music was made by the VEM Quartet (a truly magnificent Nicole Sauder, Nicolette Kocsardy, Stephanie Nagler and Luke Kim) who laid out Eduard Mirzoyan's String Quartet with a feline, subtle grace that touched hearts with its gentle melodic content and long-lined eloquence."
Anna Corcoran, a native of Santa Barbara, California, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Axel Strauss and Ian Swensen. She received the Sergei Barsukov scholarship for four years of study at the conservatory in addition to awards from the Santa Barbara Music Club, the Leni FeBland Foundation, and the top prize from the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation competition. Anna has performed in the bay area with ensembles such as the Magik* Magik* orchestra, and the Trinity Alps Chamber Players. She has spent summers playing chamber and orchestral music as a fellow in the Astoria Music Festival and Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra's summer programs as a performer and coach. She has also played with the National Orchestral Institute Orchestra under conductors Leonard Slatkin, Daniel Hege and Asher Fisch. Anna is currently pursuing her Master's degree at UCLA and is a current member of the VEM Graduate String Quartet. Anna studies with Guillaume Sutre.
Isabella Reyes earned her bachelors degree at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA where she was a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship. She began violin studies at the age of 4, and has worked with teachers such as Michael Tseitlin, Daniel Shindarov, Linda Rose, Mark Lakirovich, and(currently) Movses Pogossian. She has also studied and performed at music festivals in Canada, Portugal, and Italy. In addition to the regular classical studies in solo, orchestral, and chamber music styles; Isabella has also cultivated an interest in recording for various other genres, with particular focus on film and video game scoring. She is currently a scholarship student pursuing a Masters Degree in violin performance at UCLA.
Daniel Mireles began his viola studies at Long Beach City College where his primary instructors were Paula Fishman, Andrew Duckles, Dr. Gregory Maldonado and Dr. Josephine Liu-Moerschel. While attending LBCC, Daniel served as principal violist for both the chamber and symphony orchestras and was awarded the Dramatic Allied Arts Guild Scholarship for Outstanding Talent in the Field of Instrumental Music. In 2010, he transferred to Azusa Pacific University to study with Jonathan Moerschel, violist of the Calder Quartet, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance. Daniel is now completing his Master of Music degree in Viola Performance at UCLA under the direction of Richard O'Neill where he is the violist for the VEM Quartet. While at UCLA, Daniel has discovered his deep passion for early music and has attended such festivals as The American Bach Soloists Academy and The Berwick Academy for Historical Performance at The Oregon Bach Festival. Daniel was also a 2015 winner of the Early Music America Summer Workshop Scholarship and hopes to develop this passion with further graduate work in historical performance.
22-year-old cellist Bryant Gozali, is a student of Professor Antonio Lysy at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where he is also a cellist of the VEM String Quartet (Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at UCLA). Bryant started playing the cello at age 9, and had since then won awards at solo and orchestral competitions. He is also a visiting artist at Aula Simfonia Jakarta, one of Indonesia's finest concert halls, where he performs recitals and concertos with the Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra regularly. As an active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, Bryant has taken masterclasses from many distinguished musicians, including the Tokyo Quartet, Leon Fleisher, Paul Katz, Robert deMaine, and Hans Jørgen Jensen, among many others.