The debut album by the Aizuri Quartet, with violinist and assistant professor of music Ariana Kim, has been nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. The 61st Grammy Awards ceremony is Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.
The album, “Blueprinting,” was released Sept. 28. It features premiere recordings of new works written for the quartet by five contemporary American composers: Lembit Beecher; Yevgeniy Sharlat; Caroline Shaw; Gabriella Smith and Paul Wiancko.
Founded in 2012, the New York-based quartet includes violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Karen Ouzounian and violinist Miho Saegusa. Kim joined the Department of Music faculty in 2012 and Aizuri in 2016; she teaches and mentors violin and chamber music ensemble students at Cornell.
Aizuri Quartet won the grand prize and $100,000 at the international M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition in May, with repertoire including the Sharlat and Wiancko pieces. The ensemble also won first prize (the gold medal for string quartet, $27,000 and a three-week tour of Japan) at the ninth Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017. They held open rehearsals, played a concert and led a master class at Cornell during a campus residency in 2017.
Watch the Aizuri Quartet performing Lembit Beecher’s “Sophia's Wide Awake Dreams,” with Beecher on sound sculptures, from “Blueprinting.”