As part of the celebration of the 250th birth year of Ludwig van Beethoven in December of 2020, four current and former Austin College students entered an international chamber music competition to recognize and honor one of the greatest composers in the history of music. The Austin College Generations String Quartet, comprised of violinists Andrew Kim, (’22) and Andrés Hernández (’22), violist Rizwan Jagani (’15), and cellist Jacob Martin (’17-’18) began working during the summer of 2020 as a means for exploring the vast literature for string quartet, which began in the 18th-Century and which continues to the present day. Under the coaching guidance of AC faculty member Dr. Ricky Duhaime, what began as a summer project evolved into a year-long study, beginning with Beethoven’s Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18, No. 4, which was submitted by the group in the international Best Beethoven Performance Competition, where the quartet earned second place in their age category encouraging the members to continue working together weekly during the entire 2020-21 academic year.
“I am especially pleased whenever current and former students meet and work to combine abilities across generations,” Duhaime said. “The members of the AC Generations String Quartet did not attend Austin College at the same time but have collaborated to create an ensemble and musical achievements that transcend generational boundaries. The success in their first competition encouraged them to continue working as a unit, exploring additional quartet literature throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, leading them to complete a recording session of Dvořák’s Quartet in F major, Op. 96, ‘American.’ Beyond the study and performance of significant pieces of music by acknowledged composers, the members of the quartet have also acquired chamber music techniques and skills to apply in all their future endeavors, regardless of where time and careers take them.”
Following are the links to the quartet’s award-winning performance and to their spring recording:
Notably, current students Andrew Kim and Andrés Hernández are completing a major in biochemistry and minor in music and dual majors in biology and music, respectively. Alumnus Rizwan Jagani completed a major in music and a minor in Spanish, followed by a graduate degree in music performance at Carnegie Mellon University and an Artist Diploma in Performance at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, entering a doctoral program in performance in the fall of 2021 at Catholic University. Former student Jacob Martin completed a baccalaureate degree in performance from Scarborough College in May 2021 and will be attending the University of Boulder, Colorado, in the fall. Jagani and Martin have also traveled with Duhaime to participate in the Austrian Summer Festival in the past and plan to return again in the summer of 2022.