Kent State string quartet wins national award

Kyle McDonald

The Nexus String Quartet, a young quartet-in-residence at Kent State, won the grand prize in the nationwide Plowman Chamber Music Competition held Sunday, March 14.

“This is a really big deal for us, especially because this was our first competition,” said Daniel Jang, violist for the quartet. “I thought we played really well. The others (quartet members) were more surprised that we won.”

The competition, held annually in Columbia, Mo., featured 18 chamber music groups this year including the Aidan String Quartet, also from Kent State.

Charles Akert, cellist for the Nexus String Quartet, found the victory to be a surprise.

“Everyone sounded great,” Akert said, adding that he picked up on some minor mistakes the group made. “On stage it sounds a lot different than in the audience.”

For winning grand prize, the Nexus String Quartet was awarded $5,000, which Jang said will help cover upcoming travel costs.

“We’re most likely going to use it for plane tickets,” he said.

Akert and Jang mentioned the quartet’s busy competition and touring schedule this summer. The quartet plans to attend the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colo., the Banff Music Festival in

Alberta, Canada, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in Notre Dame, Ind., in addition to some European visits including Zurich.

Jang said in order to be selected to compete in many of the competitions they must first submit a CD to be considered.

“It’s really difficult getting into a competition using a CD,” Jang said. “We’re planning on doing some more recordings soon.”

Contact performing arts reporter Kyle McDonald at [email protected].