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Rolston String Quartet Wins Cleveland Quartet Award

Rolston String Quartet Wins Cleveland Quartet Award

Published on November 29, 2017

Rolston String Quartet Wins Cleveland Quartet Award

The internationally acclaimed alumni of the Rolston String Quartet have been selected as the recipients of the 2018 Cleveland Quartet Award. It is the first time a Canadian ensemble has received the award, one of the most prestigious prizes for string quartets.

The biennial award honours young string quartets on the cusp of a major international career. It is given out by the Cleveland Quartet, Chamber Music America, and eight notable chamber music presenters across the United States. Winning quartets receive a concert tour of the United States, including performances at Carnegie Hall and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

“This new award opens opportunities to the Rolston String Quartet that will lay the foundation for a sustainable career,” said Barry Shiffman, Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music of The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School. “I have no doubt they will impress all the presenting partners that have offered them concerts with this prestigious prize.”

The prize is the latest in a string of accolades for the accomplished ensemble. In 2016, the quartet won the top prize at 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Chamber Music in Yellow Springs Competition, as well as awards at the M-Prize and Bordeaux International String Quartet Competitions. They are currently the fellowship quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music.

The Rolston String Quartet is comprised of Luri Lee (violin), Jeffrey Dyrda (violin), Hezekiah Leung (viola), and Jonathan Lo (cello). All but Dyrda studied at The Glenn Gould School, The Royal Conservatory’s internationally recognized centre for professional training in music performance at undergraduate and graduate levels. Mr. Lo and Ms. Lee also participated in the school’s Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program.

“Watching Rolston succeed has been one of the great joys of my life,” remarked Shiffman. A longtime mentor, he witnessed the birth of the ensemble, which was formed in 2013 and named after late Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston.

For Shiffman, the quartet also represents the latest example of past students succeeding on the world stage. In the last few months, alumnus Benjamin Bowman was named Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Afendi Yusuf earned the position of Principal Clarinet with the Cleveland Orchestra.

“Our alumni continue to do amazing things!”

Resounding! The Campaign for The Royal Conservatory, has been launched to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Glenn Gould School, as well as the upcoming 10th anniversary of Koerner Hall. To learn more or donate, visit

The Glenn Gould School is supported by funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Arts Training Fund, and from the Ontario Arts Council. For information on how to apply to The Glenn Gould School, please visit the school’s website.

The Rolston String Quartet performs in Mazzoleni Concert Hall in historic Ihnatowycz Hall on April 8, 2018.