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 Mansurian. The quartet has performed at various venues in Los Angeles including Zipper Hall, Bing Theater, Schoenberg Hall, the Hammer Museum, as well as in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at the Incontri in Terra di Sierra Festival in Tuscany, Italy, in July 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...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."
Xenia Deviatkina-Loh has performed with the many orchestras around Australia and New Zealand including the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She has also been a recitalist in various venues across Australia, UK, Europe and USA, mainly Sydney, Melbourne, London, and California. Venues include the Horncastle Arena, Sydney Opera House, Wigmore Hall, St. John's Smith Square, LACMA. She has been frequently aired live on 3MBSFM, ABC radio, and Radio New Zealand. In 2009, she was the winner of the Gisborne International Music Competition. Xenia has had masterclasses with various renowned artists and pedagogues, including Maxim Vengerov, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Pamela Frank; and has worked intensely with Boris Kuschnir. Xenia studied in Sydney with Alice Waten, and completed her MA at the Royal Academy of Music, London under György Pauk. She is currently completing her MMus at UCLA, with Movses Pogossian and Guillaume Sutre. Xenia was supported by the Tait Memorial Trust - The Thornton Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, Woolf Mernick, and Margot MacGibbon during her studies in London. She is supported by the Ian Potter Cutural Trust Fund, Friends of Strings Award, and Greenschlpoon, and the Edna and Yu Shan Han Foundation for her current studies in UCLA. Xenia is currently recording for SHEVA Collection for her premiere album, which is project to release late 2017.
Violinist Ji Eun Hwang was born in Korea and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across United States and South Korea. She began her music studies at early age and studied in Preparatory school of Korea National University of Art and in Seoul National University with a Bachelor's degree in violin performance. After then, she studied with an Artist Diploma in violin performance at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University with Professor Mark Kaplan and Ik-Hwan Bae with a full scholarship. Ji Eun has participated and performed in many international music festivals and masterclasses in the U.S. and Europe. She attended Tanglewood Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, Texas Music Festival with, full scholarships and Pontlevoy music festival in France. Her musical development has been furthered in masterclasses with Mihaela Martin, Patinka Kopec, Samuel Rhodes, Yael Weiss, Ani Kavafian, Pamela Frank, Mauricio Fuks, and Lucie Robert. Also, Ji Eun has many performance experiences. In the past year, she has been the featured with many solo and chamber recitals, and won several violin competitions. She played Yurim promising artist recital, Young San young artist recital, and performed with the Gwangju Symphony Orchestra and City of Mokpo Symphony Orchestra. Since 2012, she has joined Sejong Soloists as a guest artist and she is a principal violinist of Sejong City Philharmonic Orchestra. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music in violin performance at Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA with Professor Movses Pogossian.
Violist Morgan O'Shaughnessey has performed live on RAI Radio 3 at Palazzo Quirinale for the President of the Italian Republic. He has also presented several recitals of modern Italian works at Teatro la Fenice in Venice as a part of festival lo spirito della musica di venezia, as well as recorded an album of the complete chamber music of Gino Gornini in collaboration with the Giorgio Cini Foundation, which was released on the Tactus label. He performs on a fine viola by Vincenzo Cavani di Spilamberto, and a bow by Darrell Hanks of Ashland, OR. His extensive discography with legendary producer Sylvia Massy includes string arrangements for Johnny Depp, Rihanna, and Soilwork. He holds a BM from San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with Jodi Levitz and members of the Kronos Quartet. His other musical interests include the Scottish highland bagpipes, Swedish nyckelharpa, and Quebecois fiddle music. A passionate advocate for community involvement in music and art, Morgan is the artistic director for Springsart Series: a non-profit community concert series that produces accomplished regional artists in interactive artistic community events in a yurt deep in the forest near Ashland, Oregon. Please visit www.moshalto.com for more information on upcoming concert engagements and album releases.
A Los Angeles native, Niall Taro Ferguson is a cellist, composer, and arranger. He has performed orchestral, chamber, and solo music throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has participated in festivals including the Rencontres Musicales Internationales in Switzerland, the Los Angeles-based Hear Now Music Festival, and Musique à flaine in the French Alps. Niall has studied cello with Antonio Lysy, Lynn Harrell, and Timothy Loo of the Lyris quartet, and composition with composers Ian Krouse, Kurt Rohde, and Bruce Broughton. Niall currently works for the Hear Now Music Festival, as well as the chamber music series, Jacaranda.