Angela Bae, Violin
Justin DeFilippis, Violin
Benjamin Zannoni, Viola
Russell Houston, Cello
The Balourdet String Quartet, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is currently in residence at the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Program. The quartet received the Gold Medal in the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Second Prize in the 2019 Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition.
The Balourdet has shared the stage with renowned artists including Cho-Liang Lin, as well as members of the Dover Quartet. It has studied and performed at festivals including the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, and Accademia Musicale Chigiana. The Balourdet String Quartet works primarily with Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory. The quartet was formed in 2018 at Rice University in Houston, Texas under the tutelage of James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Cho-Liang Lin.
The Balourdet String Quartet gets its name from Antoine Balourdet, chef extraordinaire at the Hotel St. Bernard and beloved member of the Taos School of Music community.
Born in Seoul, Korea Angela Bae began her musical aspirations at the age of three. She studied with Phillip Levy in Los Angeles, California and graduated in 2020 with her Bachelor’s degree with Paul Kantor at Rice University Shepherd School of Music .
Angela has won awards in Korea and the United States including the The Korea Times Competition, Alexander and Buono International Competition, Music Center Spotlight, and Mika Hasler Competition. She has appeared as soloist in venues such as Weill Hall, Disney Hall, and Sydney Town Hall. When she was 16, she became the youngest Concertmaster of the American Youth Symphony in LA.
As a chamber musician, she performed and worked with artists including James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, and Gil Shaham. In 2018, she attended the Taos School of Music, working with Robert McDonald, Thomas Sauer, Borromeo Quartet, Miro Quartet, and Brentano Quartet. From the friendship and musical companionship built during Taos, she became a founding member of the Balourdet String Quartet.
She is current pursuing her Master’s degree with Don Weilerstein at the New England Conservatory of Music Professional String Quartet Program.
Justin DeFilippis, violin, is a member of the Balourdet String Quartet, currently the resident ensemble of New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Program. Previously, he completed his Master’s at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music under the tutelage of Cho-Liang Lin, and Bachelor’s at New England Conservatory working with Donald Weilerstein. He currently studies with Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo String Quartet. He completed a minor in music theory along with his performance degree from NEC. In high school, he attended the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, studying with Elizabeth Chang and graduating with the Commencement Award. An avid chamber musician, he has coached and played with members of the Brentano, Pacifica, Miro, Shanghai, Cleveland, Dover, and Ying Quartets as well as the Peabody Trio, and has participated in numerous solo and chamber masterclasses with such artists as Leonidas Kavakos, Augustin Hadelich, Ida Kavafian, and members of the Emerson and Juilliard Quartets. He was a two-time participant of the Taos School of Music, and has also attended the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program, the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, and received the Kaplan Fellowship at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He also was a National Finalist of the MTNA Competition Junior Division. Recently, he has also performed alongside Cho-Liang Lin and Jon Kimura Parker, members of Silkroad, and served as concertmaster of the Shepherd School Symphony on a number of occasions.
Benjamin Zannoni is currently in pursuit of a Masters Degree at the Shepherd School of Music. He is a recent graduate of the Orchestral Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music and has received degrees from the Manhattan School of Music’s Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program and from The Juilliard School. In the past, Ben has studied under Karen Dreyfus, Pinchas Zukerman, Patinka Kopec, Heidi Castleman, Robert Vernon, and James Dunham and has played in masterclasses for Koichiro Harada, Kazuhide Isomura, Roberto Diaz, Lawrence Dutton, Richard O’Neil, Richie Hawley, and Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot. As an avid chamber musician, Ben performs throughout New York City and is a member of a the Balourdet String Quartet. He has attended festivals such as the Young Artists Program at the National Arts Center in Ottawa Canada, Music Academy of the West, Sejong International Music Festival, and the Heifetz International Music Institute.
Russell Houston, praised by the Dallas Morning News for his “intrinsically musical [playing],” is quickly establishing himself as a well rounded musician. Mr. Houston has performed as soloist with orchestras including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, and Plano Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has won numerous prizes and awards including top prizes at the Sorantin International Competition, Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, and the Northwestern University Chamber Music Competition. He also was the recipient of the Runner-Up Award as well as the Special Prize for his performance of the commissioned work at the Mondavi Young Artists Founders’ Competition. In addition, he has received awards at competitions including the Lennox International Young Artists Competition and the Samuel and Elinore Thaviu Competition.
An avid chamber musician, Russell has performed with renowned artists including Denis Bouriakov, Cho-Liang Lin, Timothy Pitts, Brinton Smith, and Kathleen Winkler as well as members of the Cleveland and Dover Quartets. As a member of the Balourdet String Quartet, he received the second prize in the 2019 Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark. The quartet has performed at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival as well as the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies.
His festival appearances have included the Taos School of Music, Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Pyongchang Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, Sarasota Music Festival, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Orford Academy, and the NAC Young Artist Program in Ottawa, Canada. Russell has had the privilege of playing for prominent artists and pedagogues including Timothy Eddy, David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Ralph Kirshbaum, Ronald Leonard, Laurence Lesser, Johannes Moser, Daniel Müller-Schott, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Janos Starker, and Jian Wang. Russell currently studies with Paul Katz in the Professional String Quartet Program. Houston holds degrees from the Colburn Conservatory, Northwestern University, and Rice University. His primary teachers were Clive Greensmith, Ko Iwasaki, Hans Jensen, and Brinton Smith.