HRCP Quartet in Residence:
In 2002, four friends decided to join forces to explore their collective passion for chamber music; thus, Hampton Roads’ Ambrosia Quartet was formed. While all members of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, their backgrounds are as diverse as the music they play. Violinists Simon Lapointe and Mayu Cipriano hail from Québec and Tokyo, respectively; violist Beverly Kane Baker grew up locally in Hampton; and cellist Rebecca Gilmore came to the area from Charlotte, North Carolina. Their resumes collectively represent many years of study at the very best conservatories, including the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Indiana and Rice Universities, and the Juilliard School.
The Ambrosia quartet has worked closely with several Hampton Roads composers, having recorded the string quartets of Adolphus Hailstork for Albany Records and premiered several works by John S. Dixon, including serving as artistic editors of Dixon’s transcription for string quartet of Mozart’s famous variations for piano on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. They’ve also forged another bond within the community recently, becoming the Quartet in Residence for The Academy of Music, a community music school headquartered in Norfolk.
In more than a decade of recitals, the Ambrosia Quartet has explored the chamber music with the prestigious Feldman Chamber Series as well as the Virginia Arts Festival and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. And they’re not limited to quartets, frequently performing trios or participating in other ensembles. These friends are bonded together by a mutual love of the very best chamber music of any style, and they strive to reach the most diverse audiences possible, having performed in churches and museums just as readily as in fine concert halls in the U.S. and internationally.
Some might think it no surprise that an excellent orchestra would bring forth an excellent string quartet, but this is not always the case. Chamber music ensembles require rare chemistry to elevate the playing to a special realm. The Ambrosia Quartet has that chemistry and achieves that elevation.
Left to Right: Rebecca Gilmore, cello, Beverly Kane, viola, Simon Lapointe, violin, Mayu Cipriano, violin
In classical mythology, “ambrosia” is the food of the gods: this quartet exists to share ambrosia with you.
mayu kurado cipriani
beverly kane baker
2018-19 season coaches
Bernardo Canga holds a degree in Violin and Viola Performance from the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Oviedo, Spain, having been mentored by prestigious pedagogues. He is intensely involved in chamber music; in 2003 he was the String Coordinator of SICOR (Orchestra and Chorus System of the Bolivian Amazon), an institution that promotes orchestras for at-risk youth and has contributed to the revival of the baroque music from and in the Jesuit missions of South America. Bernardo Canga also holds a Master’s degree in Music Therapy from the Pontificial University of Salamanca and completed a Clinical Fellowship in Music Therapy at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. He is a Neonatal Music Therapist at Eastern Virginia Medical School in the Department of Pediatrics and has a strong professional focus on global health; as a researcher, Bernardo has published in medical and music therapy journals and lectures regularly in national and international symposiums.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Julliard School, violinist Pavel Ilyashov has performed chamber music with Yo Yo Ma, Jaime Laredo, Paquito D’Rivera, and members of the Guarneri, Orion and Emerson String Quartets. Recent engagements include concerto performances with the Virginia Symphony, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Honduras, the Tacoma Symphony, recitals at the Caramoor and Bargemusic festivals in New York, and a tour of North and South America featuring works written for unaccompanied violin. Pavel is also a passionate and dedicated teacher. He has taught masterclasses throughout the Americas and spends his summers at festivals in New York, Colorado, and Missouri. Pavel is a proud ambassador for the Orchestra of the Americas, which has enabled him to present educational outreach to places in the world where it is not easily available. His most recent mission took him to Honduras. Pavel is on the faculty of The Governor’s School and maintains a small, private studio.
Performing and teaching viola in Hampton Roads since 1990, Stacey , as she is known to her friends, is a member of the Virginia Symphony and performs with most of the arts organizations in the area. She is on faculty at Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and The Governor’s School. Stacey is also a violist and librarian for The Harbor Quartet and maintains a small private studio. Stacey received her Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School and her Masters from Rice University Shepherd School of Music. Stacey has played with Symphonica D’ell Emiglia Romagna, (Italy), Houston Ballet Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Virginia Opera, Virginia Musical Theater, Richmond Symphony, Williamsburg Symphonia and Norfolk Chamber Consort as well as many “non-classical” performances with Broadway touring companies and solo artists, including Lion King, Josh Groban, Tony Bennet, Wayne Newton, and Phantom of the Opera.
Laura is an avid chamber musician and has collaborated in performance with renowned artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Paul Katz, and Nicholas Kitchen. From 2009-11 Ms. Seay performed as a member of the Vinca Quartet and was a founding member of the New York-based LK String Quartet. Ms. Seay has served on the faculties of The Juilliard School Pre-College, The Perlman Music Program, Killington Music Festival, and Chamber Music of the Rockies, and also served as a teaching assistant at The Juilliard School College Division. Ms. Seay holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Viola Performance from The Juilliard School, and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, where she published her research in the field of performance majors working as teaching artists and performance outreach. Currently, Ms. Seay is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Colorado–Boulder studying with Erika Eckert and Geraldine Walther.