VC Artist Aizuri Quartet to Receive 2022 Cleveland Quartet Award

January 25, 2022

Aizuri Quartet to Receive 2022 Cleveland Quartet Award 

Nichole L. Knight: January 24, 2022

quasi-faust: “Aizuri Quartet illuminates enterprising program at Chamber Music Columbus”

Sam Jacobson: November 15, 2021

Classical Voice North America: “Bold Aizuri Leaps Across Eras With Quartet Ventures”

William Albright: January 30, 2020

Houston Chronicle: “Aizuri Quartet programs a night of music inspired by isolation”

Lawrence Elizabeth Knox: January 20, 2020

Chicago Classical Review: “Aizuri Quartet’s insightful Beethoven caps impressive Winter Chamber Festival debut”

John von Rhein: January 18, 2020

Featured on Impromptu, WFMT, Chicago

January 17, 2020

South Florida Concert Review: “Aizuri Quartet makes bracing impact with envelope-pushing Kravis program”

David Fleshler: December 10, 2019

Palm Beach Daily News: “Exotic Works Propel Fresh Aizuri Quartet”

Michael O’Connor: December 10, 2019

Boston Classical Review: “Aizuri Quartet impresses in classics and contemporary works at Rockport”

Aaron Keebaugh: June 29, 2019

Boston Globe: “‘Just go for it’: An adventurous quartet, always in the moment”

David Weininger: June 19, 2019

Boston Globe: Zoë Madonna's Best Classical Albums of 2018 

Zoë Madonna: December 21, 2018

"The all-female string quartet’s first album release contains five new works written for the group, and each one’s a hit. To cite a few, Beethoven meets Japanese prints in the title piece by Caroline Shaw, a child’s sanctuary forest grows in Lembit Beecher’s 'Sophia’s Wide Awake Dreams,' and unpredictable jumpcuts of grief spike Yevgeniy Sharlat’s 'RIPEFG.' "

I Care If You Listen: 2018 Contemporary Classical Music Albums - Editor's Picks

Amanda Cook: December 21, 2018

"...Aizuri Quartet excels in every way, demonstrating brilliant musicianship throughout."  

NPR Music's Best Classical Albums of 2018 

Tom Huizenga: December 18, 2018

"These limber and luminous performances by the Aizuri Quartet, in music written specifically for the group by young composers, proves that the 250-year-old string quartet formula remains vibrant and vital."


December 2018

“the quartet commits itself wholly to the material...[a] musically abundant release”

I Care If You Listen: “In a Word, Stunning:” Aizuri Quartet’s Debut Album Blueprinting

Brianna Matzke: November 2, 2018

“The music and performance is, in a word, stunning... Aizuri Quartet’s recording debut immediately places them at the forefront of string quartets working in the contemporary idiom. Their ability to function as a perfectly unified ensemble while exploring every nook and cranny of a piece’s soundworld makes literally every moment of Blueprinting completely satisfying.”

Bandcamp Daily, Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical

Peter Margasak: October 2018

“A dazzling debut...”

POPMATTERS: “Aizuri Quartet's 'Blueprinting' Is One of the Best Contemporary Classical Debuts of the Year”

Andy Jurik: October 8, 2018

“...a testament to the vitality and energy in the contemporary classical world. Bold and brimming with stellar new works, the album is a testament both to the voices of its composers as well as the dynamic relationship between the quartet themselves.”

Star Tribune: "St. Paul native's Aizuri Quartet rivet's listeners with sharp playing and perfect rapport"

Terry Blain: June 11, 2018

Philly Life and Culture: “Music and Migration - A Night With Kinan Azmeh and Aizuri Quartet”

June 3, 2018

The New York Times: “a quartet of expert collaborators, who cogently traverse a range of repertoire staples and modern works.”

May 25, 2018

Washington Post: "Aizuri Quartet closes out 20th season of celebrating women at National Museum of Women in the Arts"

Charles T. Downey: May 24, 2018

“Excellent... the musicians championed this new music expertly... astounding...”

Michigan News: "$100K grand prize winner announced at U-M’s third annual M-Prize chamber arts competition"

Sydney Hawkins: May 7, 2018

Strings Magazine: "Aizuri Quartet Wins M-Prize Chamber Music Competition"

Stephanie Powell: May 8, 2018

Strad Magazine: "Winners named at $100,000 M-Prize Chamber Music Competition"

May 8, 2018

Violin Channel: "Aizuri Quartet Awarded $100,000 M-Prize Chamber Music Competition Grand Prize"

May 8, 2018

New York Times: “Three String Quartets in a Week. One of Them Is Trying New Things.”

James R. Oestreich: December 3, 2017

“…the Aizuri program, for what it was in the moment and for what it portends of the ensemble’s future, was genuinely exciting.” 

Philadelphia Inquirer: “‘Sophia’s Forest’: A Refugee Opera Where the Trees are Wired”

David Patrick Stearns: September 6, 2017

“The Aizuri Quartet […] has proved itself a group that seems ready for anything.” 

The Washington Post: “In Aizuri Quartet, a natural bond and a captivating performance”

Grace Jean: April 10, 2016

“It can take years for string quartets to perfect the musical rapport that binds them and draws a following. For the budding Aizuri Quartet, however, that bond has fused naturally and quickly. At the Barns at Wolf Trap […] Aizuri’s captivating performance drew from that meld of intellect, technique and emotions.

“Formed in 2012, Aizuri creates myriad sounds and textures with little to no variances from player to player. Comprising violinists Miho Saegusa and Ariana Kim, violist Ayane Kozasa and cellist Karen Ouzounian, this string sisterhood of Juilliard and Curtis graduates — each one a magnificent musician in her own right — performs with an unhurried, in-the-moment approach. Every note the quartet produces is lovingly crafted and savored, as it demonstrated with full-bodied tones and expression in Schumann’s String Quartet No. 3 in A , Op. 41.”

“In Aizuri’s hands, Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat, Op. 18, became a study in contrasts. A wispy motif that alternated with dramatic moments anchored the mirthful but mercurial opening movement. Aizuri tidily braided the melodies in the Adagio yet allowed the passages to remain lithe. In the Scherzo, Aizuri’s syncopations were playful yet meticulous while, in the finale, the quartet bided its time, allowing the icy melancholy to melt into radiant sunbeams.”

“Commissioned by Wolf Trap Foundation, [Caroline Shaw’s “Blueprint”] was written for Aizuri, whose lively performance brought out its raw edginess and cinematic appeal.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: “A Dynamic Night with Aizuri Quartet”

Peter Dobrin: June 5, 2015

“In terms of choosing a calling card to send out into the world, the Curtis Institute of Music could hardly do better than the Aizuri Quartet.”

“What was clear in a tough program of Haydn, Webern, Brahms, and a new work by recent Curtis alumna Gabriella Smith is that the Aizuri […] is in full possession of that most elusive of string quartet qualities: the balance between charisma of the individual and cohesion of the collective.”

“The bigger ideas took shape all night in moments like this: an absolutely seamless back-and-forth dialogue between violinists Miho Saegusa and Zoë Martin-Doike in Haydn’s String Quartet in B Minor, Hob. III:37; a beautifully liquid sound character in Webern’s Langsamer Satz; solo moments in the Brahms from violist Ayane Kozasa that were smooth as glass while still projecting; the gorgeously shaped and placed pizzicato notes of cellist Karen Ouzounian, also in the Brahms.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune: “Aizuri Quartet performs new work with bravado and power”

Christian Hertzog: March 20, 2016

“Only two weeks after its premiere, the Aizuri performed [Yevgeniy Sharlat’s “RIPEFG”] Monday with a technical bravado and an emotional power that sounded as if they’ve worked on it for a year.”

“They are well disciplined, very secure in tuning […], rhythmically tight, with a finely measured sense of ensemble dynamics and balances.”

The Aizuri played flawlessly here [in Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet], a well-gauged, charming account of a work whose every note must be exactly in place.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: “Aizuri Quartet, Soprano, Illuminate Higdon Work”

Peter Dobrin: November 25, 2015

“Berg’s String Quartet, Op. 3 is a bear. But the players followed its intricate game plan with great skill, emphasizing alternating steel and Straussian melodic warmth. […] This is an ensemble of varied sounds and temperaments, a quality that they sometimes underlined, sometimes downplayed, but always used to great advantage in telling us who they are.”

Seen and Heard International: “Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet Crowns a Challenging Season with Consummate Quality”

Bernard Jacobson: June 2, 2016

“Shostakovich’s masterly Piano Quintet brought the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s challenging season of varied repertoire and distinguished performers to a worthy conclusion. One of the composer’s most beguiling chamber works, it benefitted on this occasion from a performance that held the darker aspects of the slower movements and the almost Schubertian grace of the finale in ideal balance, while doing justice also to the aggressive devilry of the scherzo. … [Ignat Solzhenitsyn] was partnered with comparable artistry and skill by the Aizuri Quartet.”

“The quartet derives its name from “aizuri-e,” the Japanese art of indigo wood-block printing, and there is an appropriate sense of something graphic and elegant about the sonic and stylistic give-and-take that imbues the playing of these four young women […] with life and point.”

“[Anatoly Drozdov’s Piano Quintet] could hardly have had more committed champions than Solzhenitsyn and the Aizuris.”

“[Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 33 No. 1] is rich in quirky invention, frequently indulging in unexpected pauses and vivid juxtapositions, and the Aizuri Quartet rendered these touches, as well as the work’s more traditional moments of warmth and lyricism, with admirable conviction.”

Town Topics: “Aizuri Quartet Thrills Princeton Audience In Summer Chamber Concert Series”

Nancy Plum: June 29, 2016

“Since its inception 49 years ago, Princeton University Summer Chamber Concerts has presented many fine string quartets. All-female quartets have been few and far between, and ensembles which can mesmerize an audience as well as the Aizuri Quartet are even rarer. The Summer Chamber Concerts opening event last Thursday night featuring the Aizuri Quartet brought a nearly full house to Richardson Auditorium to hear excellence in chamber music performance.”

Beethoven FM, Santiago, Chile: “La explosiva fuerza del Aizuri Quartet

Álvaro Gallegos: June 18, 2015
English translation by José Luis Domínguez

“The individual talents of each player could be appreciated in the unified work that provided us with a beautifully sculpted Haydn, abundant in rich sonorities. Elegance, expression, every color, every atmosphere showed an ensemble whose approach and focus was totally mature.”

“Los talentos individuales de cada músico fueron apreciables en su aunado trabajo, que nos brindó un Haydn bien esculpido y abundante en riquezas sonoras. Garbo, expresión, cada matiz, cada impresión de matices mostraba a un grupo cuyo enfoque se sentía maduro.”

“After the expressive interpretation of Anton Webern’s “Langsamer Satz,” we knew without a doubt that we were experiencing an unforgettable evening.”

“De Anton Webern el Aizuri interpretó su temprano fragmento para cuarteto marcado simplemente como “Langsamer Satz” (Movimiento lento). Y expresiva fue la versión, muy en sintonía con esa obra maestra de similar lenguaje que es “Noche Trasnfigurada” de Schoenberg. Hasta acá ya no había dudas de que se estaba ante una velada irrepetible e inolvidable.”

“In the Brahms Quintet Op. 111 No. 2 the explosive power of the Aizuri Quartet was reinforced by the magnificent sound of Roberto Díaz. The piece unravelled brilliantly.”

“El contundente Quinteto No.2 Op.111 de Johannes Brahms fue la obra escogida para esta colaboración donde la fuerza explosiva del Aizuri se reforzó con el magnífico sonido de Díaz.  La obra se fue desenvolviendo brillantemente…”

The Boston Musical Intelligencer: “Aizuri Brings Vigor and Depth”

Leon Golub: March 15, 2015

“Where some foursomes strive for perfect unity of voice, the Aizuri Quartet’s four individuals found each other through the music, bringing new life to well-known pieces.”

“The performance [of Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 64 No. 3] showed the Aizuri fully in command of Haydn’s restrained wit and humor, and completely aware of his importance for the future of the quartet form. Throughout, the quartet controlled the ebb and flow of the dynamics masterfully, with clear cadences and perfect tempi.”

“As though deeply conversant with Tolstoy’s story, the quartet played [Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata”] with a clear awareness of the terror of uncontrollable passions.”