Dueling quartets: One of the most unique competitions in the area happens this weekend

The Julius Quartet. CONTRIBUTED

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The Julius Quartet. CONTRIBUTED

Earlier start time helps younger audience members.

Two string quartets will be competing for one prize.

The 33rd annual Chamber Music in Yellow Springs Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles will bring its Season of Quartets theme to a close with the Julius Quartet and Thalea String Quartet performing.

This year’s competition will be at an earlier time, 4 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at First Presbyterian Church, 314 Xenia Ave.

There are similarities among this year’s contestants. Both are string quartets whose members describe themselves as passionate musicians dedicated to education and outreach, and have traits in common with past competition participants.

“Thalea and Julius join a sequence of string quartet CMYS finalists — Calidore in 2013, Rolston in 2016 and Vera in 2017 — that have had continuing successes such as winning the M-Prize, The Banff International String Quartet Competition or being named quartet-in-residence at Curtis,” said Chuck Taylor, of Chamber Music in Yellow Springs. “We pick winners.”

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The Julius Quartet members include Hyun Jeong Helen Lee, first violin; David Do, second violin; John Batchelder, viola; and Byron Hogan, cello.

It was formed in 2012 and made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2016. It now performs at numerous venues and summer festivals in North America.

The Thalea String Quartet came together in 2014 with Christopher Whitley, violin; Kumiko Sakamoto, violin; Luis Bellorin, viola; and Titilayo Ayangade, cello.

They are devoted to building a new and diverse audience for chamber music and have performed domestically and internationally. It was the first quartet-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 2015-17.

“This season of quartets from around the world has been such a treat, and to finish the season with two young quartets is just perfect,” said CMYS board member Angela Bringlinger.

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Bringlinger added the new time slot for the competition concert will especially help the younger audience members who weren’t always able to stay for the judges’ decision due to it being a school night. But now everyone can enjoy both groups and still get home in time for dinner.

There will be no pre-concert lecture.

How to go

What: 33rd annual Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles

Where: First Presbyterian Church, 314 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs

When: 4 p.m. Sunday, April 29

Admission: Adults $25; students $7

More info: 937-374-8800 or www.cmys.org

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