Comprised of members from China, Brazil, South Korea, and the United States, newly-formed Galvin Cello Quartet came to recognition when it joined the Concert Artists Guild roster after capturing the silver medal at the 2021 Fischoff Competition, winning the 2022 Victor Elmaleh Competition and joining the Concert Artists Guild roster. Cellists Sihao He, Sydney Lee, Haddon Kay, and Luiz Fernando Venturelli study cello performance at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music with Hans Jørgen Jensen. Named after the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall at Bienen, the Galvin Cello Quartet began during the height of the pandemic. Its story is a testament to the power of teamwork and exceeds all expectations of traditional chamber music.
Some of the greatest joys as a musician are the friendship and camaraderie strengthened through collaborative music-making. As part of a tight-knit cello studio at Bienen, the four friends wanted to channel their collective passion for music instilled in them by Jensen. But with pandemic restrictions in place, the school running virtually, and Venturelli back home in Brazil, performing as a string quartet was not possible.
Despite these challenges, the four cellists, each with their own personality and charisma and eager to explore the colors and timbres of the cello together, decided to enter the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. With the deadline quickly approaching, Venturelli’s return to the States came sooner than anticipated, and all quarantine guidelines and safety measures were taken. The following twelve days were filled with preparation, rehearsals, and one final recording session of all the required repertoire before the quartet exploded onto the scene.
The pandemic may have dampened and muted many concert stages, hopes, and livelihoods for artists and musicians, but music has limitless possibilities to heal and restore. Since its illustrious debut, the quartet has continued to play together and prepare new repertoire for upcoming concerts. With their untamable desire to create, change, and ultimately bring joy through music, He, Lee, Kay, and Venturelli are more excited than ever to explore and expand the possibilities of a cello quartet. Through its music, the Galvin Cello Quartet hopes to celebrate and convey the values of friendship, creativity, and resilience in an ever-changing world.