Campus & Community

A look inside: The Quad Quartet

3 min read

String quartet helps create a robust music scene in the Quadrangle

On a quiet Sunday morning, the sounds of strings reverberate through Currier House, emanating from the string quartet in the House’s Senior Common Room.

Meeting since October, the College students — from the Class of ’14 and ’16 — have been practicing weekly to create a “robust and flourishing music scene in the Harvard Quadrangle,” said first violinist Albert Li ’16.

The group hopes to perform at House masters’ open houses and other spring events, building a community of music in the Quad. Of their Currier House fall semester faculty dinner performance, House masters’ aide Ryan Weaver called it “outstanding.”

Composed of Li, cellist Sascha Bercovitch ’14, violinist David Roberts ’15, and violist Jiho Kang ’16, the quartet focuses on the music of Dvorak.

The collaborative experience allows the musicians to learn from each other, as well as their coaches, Alan Toda-Ambaras, resident music scholar at Cabot House, and Ayan Chatterjee, resident tutor at Currier.

“Jiho taught me this: Performing really is something to look forward to rather than dread,” said Bercovitch. “I love playing music, being able to express the hope or sadness that I see or our group sees in a particular melody or line.”

Building a repertoire, the group performs short concerts for students, tutors, and House administrators in the Quad area — and hopes to expand their performances outside the Quad, as well.

“During our concerts, everyone comes in a room with the express purpose of seeing you do something that you’re passionate about,” Bercovitch said. “That’s cool.”

With the quad reflected in Currier’s front entryway, the four musicians posed for a group photo: David Roberts ’16, violin (from left); Albert Li ’16, violin; Jiho Kang ’16, viola; and Sascha Bercovitch ’14, cello.
Photos of family and friends from Albert Li’s hometown of San Jose, Calif., are posted in his violin case. His concentration is molecular and cellular biology.
A view of three of the musicians: Albert Li (from left), David Roberts, and Jiho Kang.
Alan Toda-Ambaras (left) and Ayan Chatterjee, tutor in Currier House, share a light moment with the quartet. Funding of the project came from the Office for the Arts and the Quad House masters.
Jiho Kang (left) and Sascha Bercovitch listen to the advice of their coach.
“We want to make the Quad a place where musicians of all levels are free to develop their chamber music skills,” said coach Alan Toda-Ambaras.
Sascha Bercovitch and Jiho Kang rehearse with the Quad Quartet.
Newton, Mass., native Sascha Bercovitch is studying Latin American history.
Viola player Jiho Kang ’16 of Seattle is studying applied mathematics with a focus in electronic music.
Sascha Bercovitch ’14, a cellist in the newly formed Quad Quartet, heads to Sunday morning practice in the Senior Common Room at Currier House.