Argus Quartet joins BesenArts roster
From left: Joann Whang, cello; Giancarlo Latta, violin; Clara Kim, violin; Maren Rothfritz, viola
Photo: Lauren Desberg
Dear Friends:

I am excited to announce that I am now representing the Argus Quartet , effective July 1.

I first encountered the Argus Quartet at the 2018 Chamber Music America conference, when I walked into their showcase performance on a lark, between appointments. I was utterly enthralled. Their consummate artistry was immediately palpable, literally visceral. Their remarkable combination of earnestness and seriousness of purpose, in balance with a delightful sense of humor, was front-facing in how they performed, the music they adopted, and the way they interacted with us in the audience. I knew, instantly, that I would jump at the opportunity to represent them.

On hearing and getting to know the Argus in their new configuration with violinist Giancarlo Latta and violist Maren Rothfritz joining violinist Clara Kim and cellist Joann Whang, my conviction of the great accomplishments in store for them is redoubled.

I am most grateful to everyone at Concert Artists Guild for the amazing work they have done to launch the Argus Quartet, and especially to Steve Shaiman for shepherding this process.

Please continue below to learn more about the Argus Quartet's accomplishments since its founding in 2013. I hope we will have the opportunity to discuss them soon.

--Robert Besen

The Argus Quartet is dedicated to celebrating the artistic landscape of our time by drawing unexpected connections across styles and centuries in order to foster community amongst performers, audiences, and composers alike. Praised for playing with “supreme melodic control and total authority” and “decided dramatic impact” ( Calgary Herald ), the Quartet has quickly emerged as one of today’s most dynamic and versatile ensembles, winning First Prize at both the 2017 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition and the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition.

Since then, increasingly busy concert seasons have taken Argus to some of the country’s most prestigious venues and festivals, including Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Ravinia Festival, the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West. Highlights of the 2019-20 season include debut performances for Washington Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series, along with a return engagement in New York for the Schneider Concerts at the New School.

Argus has worked with many of today’s leading musical voices, including Martin Bresnick, Chris Cerrone, Ted Hearne, Garth Knox, Andrew Norman, Christopher Theofanidis, and Augusta Read Thomas. Recent commissions include new quartets by Katherine Balch, Donald Crockett, GRAMMY nominee Eric Guinivan, Hermitage Prize winner Thomas Kotcheff, and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Juri Seo. Argus’s recording of Seo’s works for string quartet was released in May 2019 on Innova Recordings. The Quartet has received grants from the Koussevitsky Foundation, Chamber Music America, and the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in support of their commissioning efforts.

From 2015-17, the Quartet served as the Fellowship Quartet in Residence at the Yale School of Music under the guidance of the Brentano Quartet, and from 2017-19 held the position of Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School, where they worked closely with the Juilliard String Quartet. They have also held residencies at New Music on the Point, working with the JACK Quartet, and at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts as the Ernst Stiefel Quartet in Residence.
Education and outreach are an important part of the Argus Quartet’s mission. The Quartet has worked with students through residencies and masterclasses at Yale and Princeton, James Madison University, Rockport Music, the Milken School, the Young Musicians Foundation, California State University Long Beach, and Los Angeles City College.

Based in New York City, the Quartet was founded in Los Angeles in 2013, where its members shared many meals at their favorite taco truck on Argus Drive.

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