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Abeo Quartet

2023 – 24 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence

Sunday May 5, 2024 at 3:00pm

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Sunday May 5, 2024 at 3:00pm

The Abeo Quartet continues its residency with an exquisite program including works by two late-Romantic Russian composers, Alexander Glazunov and Dmitri Shostakovich, and a composer of today, Reena Esmail, who beautifully straddles the worlds of Indian and Western classical music. The climax of the program is Franz Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden,” a powerful work showcasing the composer’s mastery of melody, harmonic exploration, and the emotional depth characteristic of the Romantic period. You’ll leave this concert wondering when you can hear the amazing Abeo Quartet at Caramoor again. (Hint: Summer 2024!) 


Abeo Quartet
Njioma Grevious, violin
Rebecca Benjamin, violin
James Kang, viola
Mac Taback, cello


Alexander Glazunov: Five Novelettes, Op. 15: 2. Orientale  
Reena Esmail: String Quartet “Ragamala”
Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 122 
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 “Death and the Maiden”

About the Quartet

The Abeo Quartet, formed at Juilliard in 2018, was the inaugural Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the University of Delaware under the mentorship of the Calidore String Quartet from 2021–2023. Abeo’s recent accomplishments include Third Prize at the 2023 Bad Tölz International String Quartet Competition, making the semi-finals at the 2023 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and being among ten quartets invited to participate in the 14th Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2022. The quartet was also a First Prize and Audience Favorite Prize winner in the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles and Silver Medal winner of the Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition, both in 2022. Additionally, Abeo was a finalist in the 2021 Young Concert Artists International Competition and the silver medal winner of the 2019 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Members of the quartet are violinists Njioma Grevious and Rebecca Benjamin, violist James Kang and newest member, cellist Macintyre Taback. Recent highlights have included performances at Music@Menlo, the Schneider Concert Series, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and collaborations with members of the Calidore and Dover string quartets.

In March 2024, Abeo returned to perform at the Kennedy Center, having been featured there in 2019 with distinguished pianist Joseph Kalichstein at the Reach Opening Festival. The 2023–2024 season has also brought a yearlong residency for Abeo as the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY., with performances coming up in April and June that will include outreach to young listeners and others who are unable to attend live concerts. Abeo will also perform this spring at Emerald City Music in Seattle alongside the Calidore String Quartet.

Past Abeo highlights include performances at Alice Tully Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s masterclass series with the Danish String Quartet, and on WQXR’s Midday Masterpieces. Abeo was invited to perform in Norway’s 2019 Vertavo Festival, performing seven Haydn string quartets and was in residence at the Glenstone Museum, debuting “Moonshot” by Alistair Coleman. The quartet has studied and performed at Music@Menlo, with the Emerson Quartet at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and with the Brentano String Quartet at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. At the Montreal International String Quartet Academy, Abeo was coached by members of Quatuor Ébéne, Alban Berg, Takács, Artemis, Cecilia and Meta4 String Quartets.

During their time at Juilliard, Abeo studied regularly in the Honors Chamber Music Program under the tutelage of The Juilliard String Quartet with Joseph Lin, Astrid Schween and Roger Tapping. The quartet chose the name Abeo / ah – bey – oh / — an expression of joy in a Nigerian dialect — to reflect their love for playing chamber music and sharing it with others.