Announcing the JACK Quartet and NYC

The birth of this website coincides with a new musical adventure for me. This fall I will begin work with the JACK Quartet and move to New York City. I can't wait to get on stage with Chris, John and Jay as we hit the road this concert season. You can learn more in JACK's announcement message below:

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Photo by Shervin Lainez

As we enter our eleventh season, JACK announces the departure of founding violinist Ari Streisfeld and founding cellist Kevin McFarland and welcomes two new members, violinist Austin Wulliman and cellist Jay Campbell.

The change is bittersweet. Ari and Kevin helped build JACK from the ground up, pouring their hearts and creative minds into an idea we had as students. It’s been a wild adventure growing up together, finding balance in our lives with each other, and combining our artistic ambition to explore uncharted territory as a string quartet. While we are sad to see them go, we are thrilled about their futures ahead.

Ari has accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Violin and Violin Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina School of Music, where he will implement a new Masters Degree in Violin Pedagogy program. "I look forward to this next musical chapter dedicated to teaching and musical pursuits including my solo career, Duo Cortona (new works for voice and violin with my wife, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway), Shir Ami (lost and unknown Jewish art music), and continued work in both new and standard chamber music. I am so grateful for this thrilling decade with JACK and wish them all the best for what I know will be continued success."

Kevin will be spending more time in Denver, Colorado, where he took up residence last year with his longtime partner. "I plan to spend more time devoted to composition, improvisation, and solo performance projects. I'm very proud of the work we've accomplished in JACK and am very happy to see it continue in the hands of such enthusiastic and talented players. This is a time of change and growth for everyone in the JACK family, changes that will be good for the organization as well as its members old and new, on both musical and personal levels."

It's difficult to part with these great comrades, nevertheless, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome two incredible new members. Check them out!

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Praised as a “gifted, adventuresome violinist” by the Chicago Tribune, Austin Wulliman has gained critical attention as a soloist and chamber musician. He first forged his reputation playing with Ensemble Dal Niente and serving as the group’s Program Director, and he was also a founding member of the intrepid Spektral Quartet. "I'm eager to throw myself headlong at JACK’s upcoming projects, which will bring a sharp focus to my mission of challenging musical constraints. This move initiates a thrilling artistic journey, forging ahead in the musical vanguard with my amazing new colleagues."

Jay Campbell, winner of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, is noted for his work in contemporary repertoire. Described as “brilliant and insatiably inquisitive” by the New York Times, he has performed as a soloist and chamber musician around the globe championing the works of Boulez, Carter, Pintscher, Saariaho, and Zorn. "Chris, John, and Austin are incredibly inspiring musicians and thinkers on every level, and the quartet repertoire is one of the most varied and exciting corners of music. JACK's sense of adventure and total commitment to the music of our time is very much aligned with my own. Needless to say, I'm very excited to be adding this dimension to my musical life."

The quartet will give its final New York performance with the original members on July 19 at the Lincoln Center Festival celebrating the music of Steve Reich, and our final performance all together will be on August 5 at the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado. The new members will transition in during the fall performing together at the Park Avenue Armory in New York on October 30 & 31.