UCalgary String Quartet
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UCalgary String Quartet

Band World Classical


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"UCalgary SQ Far Behind I Left my Country"

"This is music of deep-seated humanity, at times incredibly vivacious, almost frenzied in the headlong dash through constantly accelerating tempos... sorrowful, nostalgic...performed here with affectionate understanding. The musicians...savor the flexible phrasing, staggered
rhythms, and flights of fancy inseparable from this invigorating tradition."
FANFARE MAGAZINE - Fanfare Magazine

"UCalgary SQ"

“...lively, vibrant music…a very attractive compilation disc.” - The Calgary Herald


Far Behind I Left My Country - Klezmer and East European Folk Music arranged and composed by Edmond Agopian, MSR Classics label



The UCalgary String Quartet was formed in 1994 with Edmond Agopian and Olga Kotova, violins, Christopher Sandvoss, viola and Amanda Forsyth, cello.
The quartet has performed nationally and internationally and has been recorded by CBC Radio for regional and national broadcasts, Radio Europa and the National Radio of Portugal. It has collaborated with many distinguished artists, including Anton Kuerti, pianist.
Its repertoire covers a wide spectrum of music. As the resident string quartet at the University of Calgary, it has commissioned and premiered works by U of C Composition faculty, graduate students and alumni. Presently, the quartet is in the process of performing and recording the entire Beethoven string quartet cycle.
Along with the traditional classical repertoire, the quartet includes in its concerts music that is meant to bridge the gap between the folk and classical music traditions: Klezmer and East European folk music, arranged and composed for string quartet by Edmond Agopian. The quartet has recently released a CD recording of this music, entitled Far Behind I Left My Country, on the American label MSR Classics which was nominated for the Canadian Folk Music Awards – Instrumental Group of the Year.
The UCalgary String Quartet is supported by the John Lee Roberts Distinguished Professorship in Fine Arts award.

Edmond Agopian began his violin training in Constantza, Romania where, along with classical studies at the Constantza Music Lyceum, he played and toured with a taraf- a Romanian /Gypsy ensemble. After immigrating to Canada he continued his musical studies at the University of Toronto (BMus), and the Juilliard School (MMus). In 1991 Mr. Agopian relinquished his post at Acadia University to take up positions as Professor of Violin at the University of Calgary, Conductor of the U of C Orchestra and Artist-in-Residence at Mount Royal College Conservatory. In 2005 Mr. Agopian was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal “in recognition of outstanding achievements and service to the people and province of Alberta”. At the University of Calgary he was awarded the John Peter Lee Roberts Distinguished Professorship in Fine Arts. He has been on the faculty of the Morningside Music Bridge summer international program at Mount Royal College Conservatory since its inception in 1996, and is the founder and artistic director of the University of Calgary summer chamber music festival, Contrasts. For thirteen years, he was the Music Director/Concertmaster of Calgary’s professional string orchestra, the Kensington Sinfonia. Conducting work has included performances with the Shanghai Opera Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Canadian Chamber Orchestra (conductor and concertmaster), and yearly engagements with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2002 he was appointed Music Director of the Calgary Youth Orchestra, Mount Royal College Conservatory.
As a violinist, he has been a member of numerous chamber music ensembles, and has premiered Canadian compositions in Canada, the U.S. and Taiwan. His performances have been broadcast on regional and national CBC radio programs as well as radio programs in Asia and Europe. He has also performed at a number of folk music festivals.

Adriana Lebedovich, violin, is an extended member of the UCalgary String Quartet. In May 2007, she won a permanent position as a violinist in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra while still in her third year of studies at the University of Calgary. Since then, she has also performed as soloist with the orchestra. At present she is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Music program at the University of Calgary, majoring in Performance. In Calgary she has studied with Katherine Grigoriu, Elaine Henchell, Theresa and Jeff Plotnick and at the University of Calgary with Edmond Agopian.
Adriana won the University of Calgary Concerto Competition in April 2006 and played the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She has competed in the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival for over ten years, winning numerous medals and scholarships and attended the Académie Musicale Internationale “Barbara Krakauer” program in Vaison-la-Romaine, France. She has also attended the Banff Centre summer program and the Aria International Music Festival. Adriana has played in numerous master classes including those given by James Ehnes, Jasper Wood, Catherine Manoukian, Corey Cerovsek, and the Lafayette String Quartet.
Adriana enjoys Ukrainian dancing and playing in a Ukrainian dance band. She also performs and does orchestration for the Korinnya Ukrainian Folk Ensemble and jams regularly with an ensemble of Ukrainian folk musicians at cultural events.

Dean O’Brien earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music. He also studied at the Peabody Conservatory, the Ba