Press Releases

The Billy Joel Graduate String Quartet in Residence, the iO Quartet, Performs Dec. 13

Date Released: 11/29/2007

The iO Quartet, the Billy Joel Graduate String Quartet in Residence at Purchase College, performs the works of Beethoven, Bartok and Johnston December 13 at 8 PM in the Recital Hall of the Music Building. The iO Quartet will showcase its new perspectives on familiar works of the past and its interpretations of the new works of today. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call 914-251-6700.

The residency is made possible by a significant grant from the Billy Joel Endowment Fund.

Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.

The iO Quartet features Wayne Lee and Christina McGann, violin, Elizabeth Weisser, viola, and Chris Gross, cello.

Wayne Lee received his bachelor of music degree from the Juilliard School. As a frequent concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra, he has appeared at Italy’s Festival dei Due Mondi, the Lucerne Festival, the BBC Proms, and on Live from Lincoln Center. He has commissioned pieces by Anthony Cheung, Ryan Francis, William Harvey and Ricardo Romaneiro, and performed premieres of dozens of new works.

Violinist Christina McGann has an active performing career as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. She has been a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Richardson Symphony and the National Chamber Orchestra in Washington, D.C. She won First Prize at the National Symphony Young Soloist Competition, the Lennox Competition, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, junior division. She recently received her bachelor of music degree from the Juilliard School.

Elizabeth Weisser has performed throughout the United States and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and her master’s degree from the Mannes College of Music. She was a founding member of the Enesco Quartet at Oberlin, and performed extensively with the Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Cellist Christopher Gross is active as a contemporary music soloist and chamber musician with performances throughout the United States and Europe. He premiered Milton Babbitt’s More Melismata for solo cello on the 2006 Focus! Festival. He has played with various new music ensembles, including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Continuum, the Second Instrumental Unit, Ensemble Annura and the Juilliard Electric Ensemble. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory and received his master’s degree from the Juilliard School.

The Billy Joel Graduate String Quartet in Residence was selected by a competitive audition process which included some of the finest young ensembles from across the nation and abroad. In addition to their studies and participation in major campus concerts and music productions, the Billy Joel Graduate String Quartet in Residence serves as ambassadors for Purchase College, performing locally and regionally in schools, community concert series and other venues.