SEMPRE MUSICA - Back to Homepage
Valerie Bernstein Stalvey
514 South Curson Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (323) 936-3441

Kevin Kenner, piano

Boris Andrianov, cello

Roberto Aussel, guitar

Le Poème Harmonique

Dimitri Illarionov, guitar

Flanders Recorder Quartet

Andrianov/Kobrin duo – cello/piano

Gary Gray, clarinet

Aviv String Quartet

Jay Dean, conductor

Thomas Prévost, flute

Adam Korniszewski, violin

Charles Harold Bernstein, composer

Aviv String Quartet
  • First and Grand Prize, Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition
  • Top Prize and Critics’ Prize, Bordeaux International Quartet Competition

The Aviv String Quartet has performed at
the Library of Congress, Wigmore Hall
(yearly), Royal Festival Hall, Sydney Opera
House, Verbier Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and San Francisco Performances.

Sergey Ostrovsky, Violin
Evgenia Epshtein, Violin
Timur Yakubov, Viola
Aleksandr Khramouchin, Cello

Founded in Israel and more than a decade into its expanding musical life, the Aviv String Quartet is giving concerts across the globe in critically acclaimed performances. From Cape Town to Stockholm and from China to Brazil Aviv is emerging as one of today's finest chamber ensembles. The numerous prizes they have received include Grand Prize and four special prizes at the Melbourne Chamber Music Competition, top prize and Critics’ Prize at the Bordeaux String Quartet Competition and First Prize (Amadeus Prize) at the Charles Hennen Competition in Holland.

Aviv Quartet has performed at Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Ottawa Chamber Music Society, Herbst Theatre for San Francisco Performances in North America; Wigmore Hall and the South Bank Centre in London; the Louvre Auditorium, Chatelet, and Théâtre de la Ville in Paris; the Sydney Opera House, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland (complete Shostakovich quartet cycle), Vienna Konzerthaus, Cologne Philharmonie, Beethovenhaus in Bonn and Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. They give master classes around the world – recently at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Mizra Chamber Music seminar in Israel, the University of Southern California, and the University of Winnipeg.

The quartet has counted among its mentors Isaac Stern, the Alban Berg Quartet, Walter Levin, Henry Meyer, and Ben-Zion Shamir and has collaborated with artists such as Yefim Bronfman, Boris Petrushansky, Anton Dressler, Toby Appel, Boris Berman and Pierre-Laurent Aimard.

Most recently, the quartet recorded string quartets of Ernst von Dohnányi for Naxos and a CD of three quartets of Erwin Schulhoff has been released on the same label. A month-long tour in North America and Israel and summer at the Kfar Blum Festival in Israel were followed by concerts in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Sweden and the United Kingdom - including two appearances at Wigmore Hall - and the complete cycle of Shostakovich quartets in Canada.

Aviv means "spring" in Hebrew - signifying new beginnings, a fresh outlook, the season of birth, and the shedding of coverings to reveal true nature, sharper definition and heightened awareness.


“The Aviv's program Tuesday revealed an ensemble that blends potent interpretive skills with technical precision. Every phrase has a purpose in the overall context; every detail emerges as a crucial element in the musical message.”

—The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

“...Mr. Ostrovsky play[ed] the singing first violin line with breathtaking beauty, and the rest of the ensemble provid[ed] both sumptuousness and, when Janacek demanded it, unabashed harshness.” “...a reading as trim and focused as you’re likely to hear.”

—New York Times

“Speaking of fire, the Mendelssohn Quartet no. 6 in F minor is one of the composer's most passionate and even incendiary works. You probably shouldn't play it in the interior of British Columbia during the summer, at least not the way the Avivs did last night.”

—Ottawa Citizen, Richard Todd

“If this concert is anything to go by, the Aviv String Quartet, founded in 1997, is rapidly emerging as one of today’s finest chamber ensembles...An impressive evening that marked the Aviv String Quartet out as a force to be reckoned with.”

—The Guardian, London

“The Aviv Quartet led by Sergey Ostrovsky is the most exciting ensemble that I have heard for some time and they are, I feel, destined for an esteemed career.”

—Michael Cookson, Classical Music Web

“Mendelssohn's F minor has such a powerful presence in recital as to tend to erase memories of other performances, whilst it grabs and holds you. It found the Aviv's maintaining their peak form…”

—P. G. Woolf, Musical Pointers

“…I shall content myself with saying that on this occasion I found virtually nothing to fault in the Aviv’s playing this challenging program.” (Wigmore Hall)

—T. Porter, The Strad

“What colours those four develop from a score which contains only the absolutely necessary, which refuses itself to any opulence. How precise (and well-balanced) they deploy these colours in order to emotionalise the pure, most articulately depicted structure. With what secure sense of style do they seek the drama behind the notes. In what a fantastic manner do they let the musical time flow through all of them in their collective. And how perfectly do they intonate…” (Zurich Tonhalle)

—Neue Zürche Zeitung

“... the Aviv's tightly honed ensemble made itself felt in its no-fail interaction and sense of continuity...”

—C. Porter, The Washington Post

“The Aviv Quartet high standards were everywhere apparent in its appearance Wednesday evening at Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater”

—Ronald Broun, The Washington Post

“Aviv String Quartet is rapidly emerging as one of today's finest chamber ensembles. Rich, warm and distinctive in sound, their playing combining technical exactitude with instinctive emotional intensity. Their methodology is often striking. With many quartets, the first violinist tends to be the principal figure. Here, however, the second violinist Evgenia Epshtein and viola player Shuli Waterman are predominant, anchoring their performances in rhythmic and harmonic density and gradually prying the music open from within, while the leader, Sergey Ostrovsky and cellist Rachel Mercer weave gracious tendrils of sound around them. ” (Wigmore Hall)

—T. Ashley, The Guardian

“In one listening the players practically became Shostakovich specialists . . .” (Shostakovich Centenary in London)”

—E.Bhesania, The Strad

“This splendid young Israeli quartet – it hardly seems possible that it has been going only six years.”

—Tully Potter, The Strad

“These charming Israeli and Canadian performers reveal many rich layers in the profoundly involving Fourth Quartet. It’s exciting to see a gifted, patently youthful ensemble emerging in chamber music…” (Shostakovich 2 new CDs)

—Roderic Dannett, The Strad

“The Aviv Quartet’s playing is filled with excitement and energy and also exhibits nimbleness as well as stunning command of their instruments” (Hoffmeister CD)

—Michael Carter, Fanfare

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Schulhoff Quartet no.1, I movement

Schulhoff, II movement

Mendelssohn Quartet op.80, III movement

Mendelssohn, IV movement

Shostakovich Quartet no.3, Finale

Schubert Quartet no.15, IV movement