Amaranth Quartet - BeMusical

Amaranth Quartet

Amaranth is an innovative string quartet committed to exposing divergent communities to the wonders of chamber music. Since its inception in 2013 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the quartet has studied closely with members of the Ives, Kronos, and Concord String Quartets. They have performed for and alongside the Pacifica Quartet, Brentano String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, and Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim. In spring 2015, Amaranth was a featured guest artist on the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music Next Generation concert series. 

 

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Amaranth is an innovative string quartet committed to exposing divergent communities to the wonders of chamber music. Since its inception in 2013 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the quartet has studied closely with members of the Ives, Kronos, and Concord String Quartets. They have performed for and alongside the Pacifica Quartet, Brentano String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, and Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim. In spring 2015, Amaranth was a featured guest artist on the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music Next Generation concert series.

Beyond classical string quartet repertoire, Amaranth is committed to working with artists from a multitude of backgrounds and creating original compositions and arrangements for quartet. They enjoy frequent collaborations with a number of Bay Area favorites, such as Madeline Tasquin, Kendra McKinley, and the View from Bernal Hill. Amaranth recently performed at the historic Fillmore West as part of the venue’s first all-female lineup, and has also appeared at Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, Viracocha, and the Red Poppy Art House. They have been featured guest artists on several radio programs including KPOO, KPFA and KALX.

Commissioning and premiering new music for string quartet is essential to the quartet's mission; Amaranth has performed works by emerging and established composers including Nick Benavides, Lucas Floyd, Andrew Vickers, Kenji Oh, and Brian Fitzsousa. Amaranth is actively affiliated with MusicMade Collective, a Bay-Area based organization that strives to collaborate across genres, present thoughtful musical experiences to its audience, and positively support the local and global community.

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Emily Botel (violin)

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, violinist Emily Botel has performed throughout North America and Europe with the belief that music is a powerful tool to create connection and community. Emily is a founder and violinist with the unconducted, chamber orchestra One Found Sound, the baroque ensemble Musa and is a member of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Emily has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Academy Orchestra and has performed at the Banff, National Repertory Orchestra, New Hampshire, Lake Tahoe, and Spoleto USA Music Festivals. Emily earned a B.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a minor in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University, a M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and an A.D. in Orchestral Studies as a member of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra.

Emily seeks to inspire the younger generation of musicians with her teaching. She is a Teaching Artist at the Enriching Lives through Music program in San Rafael and has taught violin and pedagogy in Belize, as a fellow with the organization MusAid. Emily is a registered Suzuki teacher and has a private teaching studio in San Francisco. When she's not in the recording studio, teaching a lesson or playing on a festival stage she can be found hiking with her dog Theo, working towards her yoga teacher certification, or eating a delicious brunch.

Abigail Shiman (violin)

Violinist Abigail Shiman--frequent tea-drinker and spontaneous ocean-goer--is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is committed to bringing music past the traditional walls of the concert hall, and has performed in a number of diverse venues across the United States, Austria, Germany, and Finland including The Fillmore, Grace Cathedral, Stanford’s Anderson Gallery, Alte Weberei Ahrenshoop, and Viracocha. A passionate educator, Abigail is on faculty at the San Francisco Community Music Center. She has been a resident teacher in the San Francisco Public Schools, a teaching artist at Summer Music West, and a teaching assistant at New England Conservatory’s Project Step Classes.

Abigail received her M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory, where she studied with Ian Swensen and Catherine Van Hoesen. She received undergraduate degrees from Bard College in Violin Performance and German Studies, studying under Erica Kiesewetter and working closely with the Colorado Quartet. When separated from her violin, Abigail can be found whipping up a dessert in the kitchen, going to a yoga class, or taking a quick dip in the Pacific.

Erica Zappia (viola)

Erica Zappia works regularly to spread her love of viola to anyone and everyone. Working with composers, genre blending, unique venues, and reaching the human experience through heartfelt performances are of upmost importance to her. Originally a native of Cleveland, Erica earned her M.M. in viola performance at the San Francisco Conservatory and holds an undergraduate degree in music from Indiana University. She has studied privately with Jodi Levitz, Alan de Veritch and Jeffery Irvine.

One of Erica’s other passions is teaching. She holds a full studio of students through the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra, which is a program in the Bay Area providing high quality, intensive, musical training, and personal guidance for low-income students, ages 9-18.

When her mind isn’t on the viola, Erica can be found blasting Kendrick Lamar and drinking coffee, practicing yoga or studying Alexander Technique, wandering around the beautiful nature of California, or whale watching.

Helen Newby (cello)

An avid interpreter of contemporary music, Helen Newby continually seeks ways to expand the technical and expressive boundaries of her instrument through close collaboration with other innovative performers and composers. She received her M.M. in Cello Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory and her B.M. from the Oberlin Conservatory. Her principal cello teachers have included Darrett Adkins, Jennifer Culp and Rachael Lonergan. Helen was a two-time recipient of Oberlin’s Creativity and Leadership Fund, traveling to and touring Norway in January 2013 and touring the northeastern United States in June 2013. She has performed across North America and Europe in venues that range from Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall and The Fillmore to jazz clubs, dive bars and art galleries. This past summer Helen was the cello fellow of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, and she was recently awarded a partnership with the Center for New Music in San Francisco.

In addition to Amaranth, Helen is a founding member of string trio Chartreuse and jazz sextet deturtle. When not cello-ing, Helen can be found curating party playlists mostly comprised of Missy Elliott and Aaliyah, working on her beer connoisseurship, and looking for new ways to include peanut butter in all the meals.


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