ABOUT

The quartet

Misha Vitenson, Violin
Franz Felkl, Violin
Michael Klotz, Viola
Jason Calloway, Cello

Press quotes

“…a group of exceptional technical ability”

The Strad


“Amernet String Quartet displays inspiration and musical integrity”

The Globe and Mail, Toronto


“Fascinating, with flawless intonation, extraordinary beauty of sound, virtuosic brilliance and homogeneity of ensemble.”

Nürnberger Nachrichten


“…shimmering textures and full-bodied redolence…”

Washington Post


“intelligence…and immensely satisfying – most notable for the quality of unjaded discovery that came through so vividly”

New York Times


“…a splendid reading of Jacob Weinberg’s Quartet, op. 55, that was, in turn, sweet, serious and joyful.”

Washington Post


“…the interplay of voices vividly etched.”

Miami Herald


“One of America’s finest ensembles.”

Cincinnati Enquirer


“The impressive unanimity and tonal heft…propelled a performance that skillfully balanced precision and spontaneity.”

Miami Herald


“The sheer ferocity and abandon of the performance…carried…music making of exciting impetuosity and fervor.”

Miami Herald


Biography

Praised for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” playing by the New York Times, the Amernet String Quartet has garnered recognition as one of today’s exceptional string quartets and are Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami. Their sound has been called “complex” but with an “old world flavor.” Strad Magazine described the Amernet as “…a group of exceptional technical ability.”

The Amernet’s performance schedule has taken the quartet across the Americas and to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. They have collaborated with many of today’s most prominent artists and ensembles including the Tokyo and Ying quartets as well as Shmuel Ashkenasi, Robert deMaine, Roberto Diaz, Gary Hoffman, Ida Kavafian, Anthony McGill, Sherrill Milnes, Michael Tree.Internationally, the quartet has appeared at major festivals around the world, including Cervantino, San Miguel de Allende, Aviv (Israel), and Colima (Mexico), while in Germany a critic commented that their playing was “fascinating, with flawless intonation, extraordinary beauty of sound, virtuosic brilliance and homogeneity of ensemble.” (Nürnberger Nachrichten). The Amernet’s U.S. engagements have included the Kennedy Center, the Tilles Center, Caramoor, Sunday Afternoons of Music in Miami, Ensemble Music Society, the Great Lakes Festival, Newport, Friends of Chamber Music in Arizona and Friends of Chamber Music in Syracuse, LPR in New York City, Chamber Music Society of Louisville, Music on the Edge in Pittsburgh, the University of Maine – Collins Center, and Market Square Concerts. The Amernet has also appeared as quartet soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony and Alan Gilbert. Earlier in their career, the Amernet won the gold medal at the Tokyo International Music Competition before being named first prize winners of the prestigious Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Prior to their current position at Florida International University, the Amernet held posts as Corbett String Quartet-in-Residence at Northern Kentucky University and at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Additionally, the ensemble served as the Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for the Arts.

In its frequent touring, the Amernet has conducted workshops and master classes in Buffalo, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New Orleans, among other cities, as well as visiting residencies at colleges and universities including Columbia, Gettysburg, Penn State, Princeton, Western Illinois, and Wiliams and abroad in Colombia, Israel, Mexico, and Serbia among others. The Amernet String Quartet has received grants from the Corbett Foundation, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the LaSalle Foundation, the Fine Arts Fund, the Cincinnati Chamber Music Society, and the Amernet Society for school outreach projects, the commissioning of new chamber music works, and their concert and conversation series. The group was the recipient of a Chamber Music Rural Residency Award during which they divided their time among the communities of Johnstown, Somerset, and Indiana, Pennsylvania.

The Amernet has always been committed to the music of our time and has commissioned works from many of today’s leading composers, working closely with artists including Anthony Brandt, Guillermo Carbo, John Corigliano, Orlando Garcia, John Harbison, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Bernard Rands, Gerhard Samuel, Morton Subotnick, Dmitri Tymoczko, and Chinary Ung. Additionally, the group has made many recordings, among which are the Concerto for Clarinet, Oboe, String Quartet and Bass by John Harbison with Sara Lambert Bloom and Charles Neidich as soloists; The Butterflies Began to Sing, a work for string quartet, bass, MIDI keyboard and computer by Morton Subotnick; an album of quartets by the American composer Stephen Dankner; the string quartet and double bass quintet of Dmitri Tymoczko; and a pairing of the Debussy String Quartet and the Chausson Concert for Piano, Violin, and String Quartet, with James Tocco and Yehonatan Berick. In addition, the Amernet is keen on exploring collaborative projects and has recently appeared with Cantor Netanel Hershtik, jazz pianist Steve Allee, Josée Garant Dance, and the Kruger Brothers.The Amernet actively advocates for neglected works of the past and aims to enliven the concert experience through its innovative programming.

The Amernet String Quartet’s current season includes tours throughout Europe and Latin America as well as the premieres of several new works for quartet and return engagements throughout the US and Israel.


Misha Vitenson

Violinist

Misha Vitenson, violinist, began violin studies with his father, Yuri Vitenson, in his native city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In 1990, Misha immigrated to Israel and continued his studies with Chaim Taub. During his time in Israel, Mr. Vitenson won numerous prizes and awards, including annual America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships and the prestigious Braun Zingel Award as winner of a competition held at the Rubin Music Academy in Jerusalem.

In 1996, Mr. Vitenson continued his studies with Sergiu Schwartz at the Harid Conservatory. He was subsequently awarded top prizes in international violin competitions, including Premio Paganini (Italy, 1998) and Pablo de Sarasate (Spain, 1997) and First Prize in the 1998 Città d’Andria International Violin Competition (Italy). Mr. Vitenson was the winner of the 1999 Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition and First Prizewinner at the 2000 National Society of Arts and Letters Violin Competition and is also both a two-time winner of the Harid Conservatory Concerto Competition and a two-time recipient of the Harid Conservatory’s Joseph Gingold Award for Excellence (1998 & 2000). Mr. Vitenson’s recent engagements have included appearances as soloist with all the major orchestras in Israel, including the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Padova e Venetto Orchestra on tour in Brazil, the National Uzbekistan Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival Symphonia Orchestra, the Harid Philharmonia, and the Harid Chamber Strings. Mr. Vitenson has given recitals and chamber music concerts throughout Israel, the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. As a member of the Kinneret Piano Trio, he participated in the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall in 1995.

After receiving the Bachelor of Music from Harid Conservatory School of Music at Lynn University, Mr. Vitenson became a student of Joel Smirnoff at the Juilliard School, where he earned the Master of Music Degree. There he appeared as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra in Avery Fisher Hall under the baton of Hugh Wolff. In the fall of 2002, Mr. Vitenson joined the Amernet String Quartet and the faculty at Northern Kentucky University as an Artist-in-Residence, teaching violin and chamber music. Currently, he is Artist-in-Residence at Florida International University.


FRANZ FELKL

Violinist

Franz Felkl was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska. He started his violin studies with a local teacher at age four and continued his studies in high school with Mrs. Linda Rosenthal. Upon his acceptance into the University Alaska of Fairbanks he continued his studies with Dr. Kathleen Butler-Hopkins. Mr. Felkl received a Bachelors in Violin Performance and a Bachelors of Music Education K-12 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Mr. Felkl collaborated extensively with faculty members of the University of Alaska Fairbanks in both chamber music and recitals. He played with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, retained a position as Principal Second Violinist and guest Concertmaster of the Juneau Symphony Orchestra during his undergraduate studies, Principal Second Violin for the Opera Fairbanks Orchestra, and many other ensembles in Alaska. In 2012 he won the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition and had the opportunity to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the orchestra.

As an educator he has worked as a coach in a chamber music setting for young artists, taught at music camps for young musicians, and worked with the Fairbanks Youth Symphony Orchestras. In the fall of 2013 Mr. Felkl worked as a student teaching intern with the Fairbanks Northstar School District as part of his music education studies. He worked with cooperating teachers in the elementary and middle school programs. The following spring he continued to teach within the district as a substitute teacher, primarily focusing on the music classrooms.

In the spring of 2016 Mr. Felkl recieved his Masters of Music in Violin Performance from Lynn University Conservatory of Music where he studied with Mr. Elmar Oliveira. During his time at Lynn he acted as Concertmaster of the Lynn Philharmonia and participated in many different chamber music groups. Recently he has held positions in Florida Grand Opera and Palm Beach Symphony as well as played in numerous other groups in the South Florida area. Mr. Felkl was recently appointed as second violinist for the Amernet String Quartet, quartet in-residence at Florida International University.


MICHAEL KLOTZ

Violist

Born in 1978 in Rochester, NY, Michael Klotz made his solo debut with the Rochester Philharmonic at the age of 17. He has also appeared as soloist with the Miami Symphony, Boca Raton Symphonia, Bucharest Radio Orchestra, FIU Symphony, Eastman Philharmonia, Mannes Bach Festival Orchestra, Bowdoin Festival Orchestra, and the World Youth Symphony in London, England. Of a recent performance of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with violist Roberto Diaz, the Portland Press-Herald proclaimed, “this concert squelched all viola jokes, now and forever, due to the talents of Diaz and Klotz”. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently proclaimed Michael Klotz to be “a superb violist, impressive, with an exceptionally attractive sound,” and the Miami Herald has consistently lauded his “burnished, glowing tone and nuanced presence.”

Michael Klotz joined the Amernet String Quartet in 2002 and has toured the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Romania, Colombia, Belgium, and Spain with the ensemble. Klotz has performed at some of New York’s most important venues, such as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, MoMA, Bargemusic, and the Kosciuzsko Foundation. His festival appearances have included Seattle, Newport, Caramoor, Festival Mozaic, Great Lakes, Cervantino, Skaneateles, Virginia Tech Vocal Arts and Music Festival, San Miguel de Allende, Beverly Hills, Music Mountain, Bowdoin, Madeline Island, Sarasota, Music Academy of the West, and Miami’s Mainly Mozart.

Passionately dedicated to chamber music, Klotz regularly performs with many of today’s most esteemed artists, appearing as guest violist with Shanghai, Ying, and Borromeo String Quartets, and collaborating with artists such as Shmuel Ashkenasi, Arnold Steinhardt, James Ehnes, Vadim Gluzman, Gary Hoffman, Michael Tree, Robert DeMaine, Andres Diaz, Roberto Diaz, James Tocco, William VerMuelen, Joel Smirnoff, Marc Johnson, Clive Greensmith, Franklin Cohen, Anthony McGill and Alexander Fiterstein, as well as with principal players from major U.S. orchestras. In 2002 and 2009, he was was invited by Maestro Jaime Laredo to perform with distinguished alumni at anniversary concerts of the New York String Orchestra Seminar in Carnegie Hall.

Michael Klotz is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded the Performer’s Certificate. In 2002 he became one of the few individuals to be awarded a double Master’s Degree in violin and viola from the Juilliard School. At Juilliard, he was the recipient of the Tokyo Foundation and Gluck Fellowships. His principle teachers and influences include Zvi Zeitlin, Lynn Blakeslee, Lewis Kaplan, Toby Appel, Peter Kamnitzer, and Shmuel Ashkenasi. Also a dedicated teacher, Mr. Klotz is Senior Instructor and Artist-in-Residence at Florida International University, where he teaches viola and chamber music.

Klotz has recently presented highly acclaimed master classes at Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Michigan, Ithaca College, Texas Christian University, and West Virginia University. Since 2015 he serves as Director of Chamber Music and Viola Instructor for the Miami Summer Music Festival where he curates a highly successful series of chamber music concerts featuring artist faculty of the festival and students at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach and Barry University. He has also been a member of the artist faculty of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Beverly Hills International Music Festival, and the Killington Music Festival.

His former students currently attend and are graduates of prestigious conservatories, including the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music and are already achieving leading roles in the music world. Michael was featured in the November 2013 issue of the “Alumni Spotlight” in the Juilliard Journal and as the subject of Strad Magazine’s “Ask the Teacher” column in the November 2013 issue. Michael Klotz resides in Hallandale Beach, FL with his wife Kelly and sons Jacob and Natan, as well as three dogs and two cats. Visit Michael’s website at www.michaelklotzmusic.com


JASON CALLOWAY

Cellist

Cellist Jason Calloway has performed to acclaim throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East as soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared at festivals including Lucerne, Spoleto USA, Darmstadt, Klangspuren (Austria), Acanthes (France), Perpignan, Valencia, Citta’ della Pieve (Italy), Jerash (Jordan), Casals (Puerto Rico), Blossom, Brevard, Great Lakes, Kingston, Rockport, Sedona, Sarasota, Music Academy of the West, the New York String Seminar, and Encore. Currently cellist of the Amernet String Quartet, Artists-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami, Mr. Calloway was previously a member of the Naumburg award-winning Biava Quartet, formerly in residence at the Juilliard School.

He has collaborated in chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Curtis, Juilliard, and Miami quartets and with principal players of most of the world’s leading orchestras, as well as with artists including Shmuel Ashkenasi, Roberto Diaz, Gary Hoffman, Ida Kavafian, Kim Kashkashian, Ricardo Morales, and the Penderecki and Tokyo quartets. Mr. Calloway gave his Carnegie Hall recital debut under the auspices of Artists International and has also been heard in New York at Alice Tully Hall, Steinway Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the 92nd Street Y, and the Polish Consulate; in Los Angeles at Disney Hall, the Bing Theatre, the Skirball Center and Pepperdine University; in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center and at Strathmore; in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music, the Ethical Society, and the Kimmel Center; and live on NPR, WFMT (Chicago), KMZT (Los Angeles), WQXR (NYC), WFLN (Philadelphia), and on RAI television (Italy).

A devoted advocate of new music, Mr. Calloway has performed with leading ensembles around the world as well as alongside members of Ensemble Modern and the Arditti and JACK quartets, and with the New Juilliard Ensemble both in New York and abroad, in addition to frequent appearances in Philadelphia with Bowerbird, Soundfield, and Network for New Music. Among the hundreds of premieres he has presented are solo and ensemble works of Berio, Knussen, Lachenmann, and Pintscher, and he has collaborated intensively with some of today’s most important composers including Birtwistle, Carter, Davidovsky, Dusapin, Henze, Hosokawa, Husa, Franke, Rihm, and Yannay. As a dedicated supporter of young composers, he has for several seasons presented a series of concerts of solo cello works newly composed for him, most recently at Harvard and Temple universities, and at Spoleto USA gave the public premiere of Yanov-Yanovsky’s Hearing Solutions for cello and ensemble, in addition to recent appearances at Bowdoin College, the College of Charleston, Princeton University, and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Mr. Calloway prizes his work with Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble InterContemporain, both at the Lucerne Festival and at the Zug (Switzerland) Kunsthaus in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Serenade as part of a major Kandinsky/Gerstl exhibit, in addition to his collaborations with the violinist Gilles Apap and with tap dancer Savion Glover. He is also artistic director of Shir Ami (www.shiramimusic.com), an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of Jewish art music suppressed by the Nazis and Soviets, and with which he appears frequently across the US and in the ensemble’s varied performances in Austria and Hungary; and In Flux, an ensemble committed to performing vocal chamber music by the leading composers of today and the recent past. A native of Philadelphia, Jason Calloway is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of Southern California. His teachers have included Ronald Leonard, Orlando Cole, Rohan de Saram, Lynn Harrell, Fred Sherry, Robert Cafaro, Joel Sachs, Felix Galimir, Luis Biava, and Seymour Lipkin. Mr. Calloway is grateful for the assistance of the Maestro Foundation.