The Rolston String Quartet announced that Emily Kruspe will be joining the ensemble as second violinist, replacing Jeff Dyrda. The news was published on the Quartet’s Facebook page on Wednesday.
Kruspe will make her first appearance in the Quartet on April 8 at the RCM’s Sunday Interludes series – a symbolic nod to the members’ affiliation with the Glenn Gould School. Their first official concert will be on May 19 at the Chamber Music Society of St. Cloud, Minnesota. Following that, they will return to Yale University in the fall as fellowship quartet-in-residence at the School of Music.
In a statement to Ludwig van Toronto, Kruspe explained that the musicians knew each other through the Glenn Gould School and the Toronto classical music scene. She was invited to read music with the Quartet after violinist Jeff Dyrda gave advance notice of his departure.
Kruspe described her audition experience as “intense:” at her first read-through with the other three members, she played excerpts from around five contrasting pieces. A month later, Kruspe was summoned to Yale for two days of rehearsals.
The chemistry was apparent — the next morning, Kruspe learned that she’d been welcomed as the newest Rolston.
“Ironically, I was heading into surgery (non-life-threatening!) that very day,” she recalled. Her thoughts just before the procedure? “I desperately wanted to rip into my quartet repertoire to practice!”
Audiences can look forward to more of Kruspe’s signature performance acts with the Quartet, winners of the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition. “I’m told that from this day forward, any encores will be performed on tiny instruments.”
In a written statement, Dyrda said he will use his time away from the Quartet to explore additional chamber music, solo and orchestral repertoire.
He echoed many of the same congratulatory messages left on the group’s Facebook page throughout the day.
“[The Rolston String Quartet] have a bright future ahead with Emily; she is an outstanding artist for whom I have held great respect for years.”
Jeff Dyrda is a founding member of the Rolston String Quartet alongside its ongoing members — violinist Luri Lee, violist Hezekiah Leung and cellist Jonathan Lo. The group formed in 2013 at the Banff Centre’s Chamber Music Residency of the time. With Dyrda, the Quartet has performed from the Californian coast to America’s northeastern seaboard, from Europe to Israel, across southern Canada and extensively in Ontario.