Thalea String Quartet Wins Fischoff’s 2021 Educator Award

Thalea String Quartet

The group will receive a coveted endorsement from Fischoff as well as a cash reward and weeklong residency to conduct masterclasses for students.

The Thalea String Quartet won the 2021 Ann Divine Educator Award. Given annually by the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association, the educator award recognizes Fischoff Competition alumni who have established professional careers as well as a focus on community outreach through chamber music. 

Comprised of four talented musicians—Titilayo Ayangade (cello) and SFCM alums Christopher Whitley  (MM ’17, violin), Kumiko Sakamoto ( BM ’15; MM ’17, violin), and Luis Bellorín (MM ’17, viola)—the Thalea String Quartet is a celebrated chamber ensemble formed in 2014 at the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Italy. 

The Thalea String Quartet has performed recitals across Europe, China, the United States, and Canada, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Massey Hall, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. The Thalea String Quartet was the top prize winner at both the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2018 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition and was named the Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts for the 2019/20 season. They served as quartet-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Texas at Austin, and as Associated Artists at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo, Belgium. Thalea currently is the Doctoral Fellowship Quartet at the University of Maryland.

View the full press release on the Fischoff website. 

Learn more about SFCM’s String and Piano Chamber Music department.