Music Department Names Axiom Quartet UST Quartet-in-Residence 6/19/2017
The UST Music Department is pleased to announce that the Axiom Quartet has been named the Quartet-in-Residence. The ensemble members are delighted by this honor.
“This is a major milestone,” said UST Cello Instructor Patrick Moore. "Without a doubt, we would not be where we are today without the music department's support. I’m living the dream!”
“I’m thrilled!” said Dr. Ingrid Hunter, UST Professor of Violin and Orchestra Director. “The Axiom Quartet recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Of course, it was wonderful to receive the honor after this milestone.”
Here's the Axiom Quartet performing the first movement of 5 Novelettes for String Quartet, Op. 15, Alla Spagnola, by Russian composer Alexander Glazunov:
Patrick Moore and Dominika Dancewicz formed the quartet in 2012. "We wanted to elevate the level of musicianship in our performances," Patrick explained. "Accordingly, we invest a lot of time rehearsing, refining and performing every piece." Each of them has been studying and performing chamber music from a young age. In addition, some had parents who were professional musicians guiding them.
What Is Chamber Music?
Chamber music is a form of classical music. Specifically, it is art music composed for a small group of instruments. Chamber music was traditionally performed in palace chambers or large rooms. Typically, one instrument introduces a motif, and others answer with a similar motif. Because of this, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described string quartet music as “four rational people conversing.”
The quartet members perform with a variety of ensembles in Houston and beyond. In addition, Axiom Quartet members are ambassadors for Chamber Music Houston. They present concerts at universities, nursing facilities and even airports. In fact, they recently concluded a weekly airport performance series, Harmony in the Air. “Our home is UST’s Cullen Hall,” Patrick shared, “ but we look for interesting venues all over Texas.”
Quartet Joins Esteemed Lineage of UST Musicians-in-Residence
The Axiom Quartet considers UST a beloved home. In their new role, they look forward to more performances at the University. “The environment at the University of St. Thomas is wonderful,” Patrick shared. “Everybody is so embracing and encouraging. It’s like working with family and friends.”
“The University of St. Thomas Music Department is a very nourishing environment,” added Dominika. “Undoubtedly, it provides an excellent education for young musicians.”
Echoing their feelings, Ingrid commented, “I absolutely love working at UST! Everyone in the music department is so incredibly friendly and welcoming. Indeed, it’s a wonderful environment.”
The environment at the University of St. Thomas is wonderful. Everybody is so embracing and encouraging. It’s like working with family and friends.
Patrick commented, “In the ’70s, Morton Feldman and John Cage did residencies at UST. Without a doubt, these were some of the most avant-garde composers in the world.”
Axiom Quartet continues to push the envelope in music performance. The ensemble is unique in its presentation. “We believe in all music, not just classical," Patrick explained. "To illustrate, we perform covers by Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, even electronica. Also, we try to keep each piece to five to ten minutes of music. Then we talk to the audience between pieces, each one of us.”
The group is currently in the studio recording their first album. They plan to release it next spring. Dominika and her piano partner are preparing for a recital in Colorado. Ingrid will direct the String Orchestra Institute. This summer camp for students of all ages runs June 26–30. In addition, Nina will be coaching and teaching viola at several venues.
“I’m so lucky to be in a professional string quartet,” Nina said. “Chamber music has always been a huge part of my life. We're planning a wonderful upcoming concert season, and we're excited about working with the students!”
Ready to learn more about the University of St. Thomas? Just fill out this form. Then we’ll send you information about our programs and how we can help you prepare for a bright future.
Want to be the first to get more stories like this one? Sign up for Newsworthy, UST’s monthly email newsletter.