Praised as a “welcome addition to Oregon music” and “one of Eugene’s coolest new ensembles,” by Eugene Weekly, Delgani String Quartet has quickly become one of the most active chamber music ensembles in the Pacific Northwest with over 40 performances and educational programs each year. Programming for their 2016/2017 season, entitled “Astonished By Music,” includes repertoire by some of the most celebrated classical composers, seldom-heard works for marimba and quartet, and world premieres of three new compositions. In addition to season performances in both Eugene and Salem, Delgani has been invited to perform selections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City this spring.
Fiercely committed to community outreach, Delgani provides education programs for both students and adults at various schools and organizations throughout the region. The quartet’s Summer Quartet Academy, a weeklong immersive chamber music experience, is held each summer in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Delgani has also held residency at the Springfield Academy of Arts and Academics where they worked with student composers on new works for string quartet. Delgani brings additional outreach for both students and adults to various schools and organizations throughout the region.
At the finale of their sold-out debut season, Delgani “unquestionably established themselves as A-league talent.” (Oregon ArtsWatch). The entire first season featured collaborative projects that combined Delgani’s creativity with that of two Oregon composers, an actor, a guitarist, and a visual artist. Their debut album, Invisible Light, captures highlights from that season: Lou Harrison’s String Quartet Set, Terry McQuilkin’s Invisible Light and four new works by Paul Safar for Delgani and orator Rickie Birran.
Delgani was formed in 2014 with a mission to cultivate an appreciation for chamber music through distinctive performance, innovative programming, educational engagement, and collaboration. The organization operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and has received foundation support from the Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Lane Arts Council, Springfield Arts Commission, and Springfield Education Foundation. Delgani is the recipient of consecutive Cultural Development Grants from OCT and a Creative Heights Grant from OCF.
The musicians of Delgani have performed throughout the United States and internationally. They collectively hold twelve degrees in string performance from various schools of music and conservatories across the nation.
Jannie Wei and Wyatt True, violins
Kimberlee Uwate, viola
Eric Alterman, cello
Violinist Jannie Wei maintains a busy schedule performing as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. In 2014, she recorded solos for Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree, which has been a local holiday tradition for 52 years. Recently, she received a government grant to perform a solo recital in Taiwan and over the summer participated in the Shippensburg Festival Orchestra, performing with Joshua Bell and Maestro Robert Trevino. In 2013, Ms. Wei was featured in the University of Oregon’s Emerging Artist Series and was invited as guest artist to the “Music by the Mountain Festival” in Mt. Shasta, California. Ms. Wei also performs regularly with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Mozart Players, Oregon Bach Collegium, and Eugene Opera.
Ms. Wei holds a Doctorate in violin performance with emphasis in pedagogy from the University of Oregon, where she was awarded a graduate teaching fellowship; a Master’s in violin performance from the Peabody Institute of Music, where she received the Peabody Scholarship GD Award, and Dean’s grant; and a Bachelor’s in violin performance from the Mannes College of Music. Her mentors include Shirley Givens, Albert Markov, Marylou Churchill, Peter Winograd, and Fritz Gearhart.
Wyatt True is Artistic and Executive Director of the Delgani String Quartet. He has performed in recital throughout the Willamette Valley and as guest artist at the University of Georgia, University of Pittsburgh, Andrew College, and Umpqua Community College. An advocate for contemporary music, Dr. True’s recent collaborations include the second performance of Roger Zahab’s Vioentelechron (2007) for violin and orchestra, a studio recording of Nicole Portley’s Voyage (2013) for string quartet, and the premiere of Jason Heald’s String Quartet No. 5 (2014). Dr. True is currently working with young composers from the Pacific Northwest on a collaboration of photography and music for violin and piano that captures the beauty of Oregon landscapes. The work is scheduled for its premiere in October 2015 at Oregon State University.
Dr. True’s education includes a Doctorate in violin performance and historical performance practice, a Masters in violin performance and string quartet studies, a Bachelor of Arts in music and philosophy, and a Bachelor of Science in physics and astronomy. His doctoral thesis, “A Modern Violinist’s Introduction to Early Music and Historical Performance Practice,” traces the development of violin music and technique from late sixteenth century vocal models to the duo sonatas of J. S. Bach. Dr. True is a Rhodes Scholar Finalist and member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Violist Kimberlee Uwate is dedicated to creating shared musical experiences as a performer and a teacher. An accomplished and versatile musician, Ms. Uwate has performed with quartets at Lincoln Center, with orchestras in Carnegie Hall and internationally in the Dominican Republic, with contemporary chamber ensembles in the Chicago Cultural Center, and as a soloist in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, Illinois. Before relocating to Eugene to join the DSQ, Ms. Uwate performed over fifty concerts each season in Illinois with a strong network of chamber music collaborators and as an orchestral player with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Heartland Festival Orchestra, and Illinois Symphony Orchestra. In a highlight performance from 2015, she collaborated with the Jupiter String Quartet at the Allerton Barn Festival in Illinois. She has taught on the collegiate faculties of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Millikin University where she has enjoyed exploring music with students through lessons, coachings, and lectures. Ms. Uwate trained at the Manhattan School of Music, University of California at Davis, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her Brazilian viola is named Elmo.
Cellist Eric Schatz Alterman has led an active and varied career as an orchestral and chamber musician. For five seasons, he performed as a section and assistant principal cellist in the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, based in Rio de Janeiro. He was frequently featured in the orchestra’s chamber music series, including a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Suite No. 3 for solo cello to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. A frequent chamber music performer in Rio, Eric has appeared in the Rio International Cello Encounter, as a recitalist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and as a producer of his own programs at the Midrash Cultural Center. A recent arrival to Oregon as a new member of the Delgani String Quartet, Eric performed in the cello section of the summer Britt Orchestra in Jacksonville, OR.
Eric grew up in New York City, where he began music studies at a young age at the Mannes College of Music. Going on to receive Bachelors and Masters degrees at Brandeis University and Boston University, he studied cello with former and current Lydian Quartet members, Rhonda Rider and Joshua Gordon, and the late Vermeer Quartet cellist, Marc Johnson. Eric has consistently explored and pursued other genres of music, since his college days performing, arranging, and composing in an Arabic fusion ensemble. In Rio, he was a frequent performer of bossa nova at Copacabana’s famed music bar, Bip Bip, and was a recent participant in the New Directions in Cello Fesitval.