CelloArt: Ruslan BiryukovRuslan and cello
LA Cello Quartet
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Audiences and critics alike praise Los Angeles Cello Quartet (LACQ) for its unique energy and commitment to performing. Representing four distinct backgrounds - American, Russian, Asian, and Latin American - the international ensemble embraces its global musical heritage. LACQ is proud to represent Los Angeles, a city celebrating diverse culture. The quartet's mission is to unite and inspire audiences from all walks of life. Passionate about bringing artists of different disciplines to its projects, LACQ speaks to a range of audiences by creating multi-genre performances and interactive experiences. Dedicated to sharing the warm vocal quality heard exclusively from four cellos performing together, LACQ continues to expand the chamber music repertoire by commissioning and premiering works from composers worldwide. Recent collaborations include composers from Iran, Kazakhstan, and the US/Puerto Rico. Los Angeles Cello Quartet is a project of Positive Motions Foundation (initiated by cellist Ruslan Biryukov) made its debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Philharmonic Fundraiser. The dynamic appearance of four charismatic cellistsoloists immediately attracted public attention and launched the quartet to its current status as one of the most prominent chamber groups in US.

LA Cello Quartet: Rabbi Elimeleh Medley

LA Cello Quartet

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Zemchuznikov: Tour De Force



Ruslan Biryukov

In a recent reviews of his performances, The Beverly Hills Outlook wrote: "Ruslan Biryukov is an astonishing young cellist," while Review Plays wrote: "To say his performance was incredible would not do it justice."

Biryukov has served as the Former General Director of Concert Department of Association “Russian Performing School” (Rostropovich Foundation) in Moscow for four years from 1998 - 2002. Since the age of 11 he has performed professionally, starting in 1995, when he began playing up to 150 performances annually as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the world, including countries in the former USSR, in Europe, and in the United States. As a chamber musician he has appeared with world-renowned violinist, Midori at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, with cellist Kirill Rodin, and with members of the Ysave Quartet. He is the only cello soloist to be invited for eight years in a row to perform solo recitals at LACMA's Sunday's Live Concert Series broadcast live on the radio and online. He was the only Russian Cello Soloist invited to perform during the opening season of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County, CA. He first earned international recognition by winning major awards in Azerbaijan and by having his name included in the Gold Book of Russia’s international program "New Names". Biryukov has gone on to win numerous other awards worldwide, including First Prize in the 17th Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition.

Ruslan Biryukov is also the Founder of the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra and the Producer and Artistic Director of "Positive Motions" Concert Series.


Anne Suda

"An accomplished soloist and chamber musician, cellist ANNE SUDA enjoys performing nationally and internationally. Anne recently won the solo division of the Frances Walton Competition in Seattle, performing numerous recitals and outreach presentations throughout Washington as winner. Anne's recent concert highlights include bicoastal performances of the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Venice Symphony in Florida under the baton of Maestro Imre Pallo, and with One Found Sound Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco. Last summer Anne performed as a fellow at Yale's Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, collaborating with faculty and student composers.

Currently pursuing her DMA at UCLA with Grammy Award-winning cellist Antonio Lysy, Anne is a member of VEM Quartet, UCLA’s string quartet-in-residence. Anne's past performances brought her to many prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Center, the American Cathedral in Paris, Rolston Recital Hall at the Banff Centre, the Britten Studio at Aldeburgh Music in the UK, and the Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University. This year Anne performs the Shostakovich Concerto with the UCLA Symphony. Anne has performed with symphonies in past seasons including the Sonoma County Philharmonic, the Knox-Galesburg Symphony, the Quincy Symphony, and the Southeast Iowa Symphony.

Classical Sonoma wrote of Anne's performance of Rococo Variations, "The delightful top-to-bottom slides on the fingerboard were impeccable, and in the cadenza Ms. Suda never hurried, letting the long pauses add suspense to the music. She clearly identified with the subtle and non-heroic interplay of cello and orchestra." Anne has been praised for bringing a fresh and contemporary sound to her repertoire, with the Northwest Reverb writing of her interpretation of the Debussy Cello Sonata, "Cellist Anne Suda read so much contrast into the score, intermittently I felt I wasn't hearing Debussy at all, but discovering his lost contemporary genius... it was the freshest interpretation I've heard."

Passionate about chamber music, Anne is a founding member of two award-winning ensembles. With Anne’s contemporary chamber group Nonsemble 6, she performs an original staged and memorized production of Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire throughout the country, receiving a grant from SF Friends of Chamber Music to fund the project. Her ensemble Aleron Trio was in-residence at Britten-Pears, Aldeburgh Music in England and at the Banff Centre in Canada. In addition to performing three tours of France, Aleron Trio won the 2014 Barbara Fritz Chamber Music Award and served as Ensemble-in-Residence for the Old First Concert Series in San Francisco.

Dedicated to teaching, Anne has given master classes and recitals as guest artist at several universities including the Cellobration Festival at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Western Illinois University, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, and Willamette University. Anne also recently adjudicated at the California Senior String division MTNA competition at UC Santa Barbara. While living in San Francisco, Anne taught at SF Community Music Center, helping to fulfill the school's mission of bringing music to all people regardless of financial means. She received her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a student of Jennifer Culp of the Kronos Quartet, studied at the Sydney Conservatorium, and received her Bachelor of Music degree from Vanderbilt University where she double majored in English Literature. Anne began studying cello at age four with her mother Carolyn Suda. More about Anne: www.AnneSuda.com


Efrain J. Del Pilar

EFRAIN J. DEL PILAR began his musical journey as a flutist, winning Puerto Rico's Instrumental Soloist competition. Following this competition, Efrain performed as soloist at Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Arecibo Band. At age 16, Efrain went on to perform the Mozart and Harp concerto with the Disney Orchestra.

Efrain began cello lessons with prominent composer Nicky Aponte, performing his first complete cello recital only six months later. He graduated with a double major in Music Education and Performance (cello and flute) from the Universidad Interamericana de San German, Puerto Rico. As a student, Efrain was appointed principal cellist of the Mayaguez Symphony Orchestra. After graduation, he joined the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, while studying privately with Jesus Morales at the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory and with Nilda Betancourt.

Efrain relocated to Miami after being invited to join Florida International University's cello quartet. In 2007, he moved to Tampa to assume the role of principal cellist of the Tampa Bay Symphony, under the direction of Maestro Mark Sforzini. Finally, in 2012, Efrain moved to Los Angeles to join LACQ, which he is proud to call home. Efrain's recent Southern Californian appearances include concerts with Rio Hondo Symphony, the Southland Symphony Orchestra, several opera houses, and recitals at universities including University of California Los Angeles and Cal State University Los Angeles. Efrain's past performance highlights include concerts at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center in Puerto Rico, at Carnegie Hall, at the Paris Conservatory, at the Rome Music Academy, and at the Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy.



BRYANT GOZALI is a student of the Grammy Award-winning cellist Antonio Lysy at the UCLA. He graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Cleveland Symphony Orchestra Principal Cellist, Stephen Geber. Exposed to music since early childhood, Bryant began his formal cello training at age nine with the Director of the Xiamen University Arts Department in China, Professor Su Li.

In 2007 Bryant's relocated to Singapore to continue his studying with Hermina Ilano, Singapore Symphony associate principal cellist. At the same year, Bryant was appointed Principal Cellist of both Singapore Independent Anglo Chinese School and Orchestra of the Music Makers (under the baton of Maestro Chan Tze Law). The Orchestra of the Music Makers won the HSBC Youth Excellence Award in 2009, as well as Independent Anglo Chinese School orchestra received the Gold Medal in the Singapore Youth Orchestra Competitions both in 2007 and 2009. Bryant also won Bronze Medal in the 6th Asian Youth Music Competition Grand Finals. His previous accomplishments include second prizes in the Ai Qin Bei National Cello Competition in China both in 2004 and 2006.

In 2010, Bryant received an invitation to solo with the Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra (Haydn Concerto in C), which led to a residency as a performing artist at the Aula Simfonia Jakarta Concert Hall. At the same time Bryant stydied privately with Yao Zhao, principal cellist for the San Diego Symphony orchestra. Year of 2011 brought him a winning at the Great Wall International Music Academy concerto competition, leading to his performance of the Saint Saens Cello Concerto with the Great Wall Soloist Orchestra. In 2014, Bryant was reinvited to solo with the Jakarta Sinfonia Orchestra (Haydn's Cello Concerto in D).

Bryant has studied and participated in master classes with most of the distinguished musicians of our time: Paul Katz, Antonio Meneses, William Grubb, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Leslie Tan, Qin Li Wei, Yu Ming Qing, Robert deMaine, Clive Greensmith, Philippe Muller, Yumi Kendall, etc. His trio, formed in a partnership with his sister Aileen Gozali, was invited to participate in Sharon Robinson's Advanced Trio Program.

Bryant's perfroming schedule includes numerous appearances at UCLA (member of the VEM Quartet), collaborations with the Cavani String Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet, the American String Quartet, the Great Wall String Quartet, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and artists Christopher O'Riley, Leon Fleisher, Movses Pogossian, Guilliaume Sutre, Kathryn Brown, Anita Pontremoli, Antonio Pompa-baldi, etc. Bryant currently performs on a Rafaelle Fiorini cello made in 1884, on loan by the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. More about Bryant: www.BryantGozali.net

LA Cello Quartet: David Popper - Suite for Four Cellos, Op.16, Movement 2



Eclectic Mix of Bon-Bons and Contemporary Music at Positive Motions Concert

By Ted AYALA, November 2011
Though chilly weather and a strong downpour met the audience at the First Baptist Church of Glendale on Sunday night, the music making inside was anything but cold.
Hot and intense playing were the hallmarks of the concert with cellist Ruslan Biryukov leading the way. Biryukov, executive director of the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra (GPO), was the linchpin of the evening: lead cellist in the first half of the night with the Los Angeles Cello Quartet and cellist for the GPO String Quartet in the second half.
If there was a disunity of mood between both halves of the concert - one half musical lollipops, the other comprised of modern works that seemed to unsettle some of the bluehairs in the audience - it was at least fused together by way of the virtuoso playing of Biryukov and his crew.
Wilhelm Fitzenhagen is a name that would be totally forgotten today were it not for the fact that Tchaikovsky dedicated his Rococo Variations, his only work for cello and orchestra, to him. Revered in his day as a virtuoso of the cello, the German Fitzenhagen spent the remainder of his life in Russia where he became an influential pedagogue. His "Concert Waltz for Four Cellos," which opened the concert, was an innocuous bit of salon music that set a buoyant start for the evening.
Following were a stream of pretty bon-bons, the most memorable of which were a cello quartet arrangement of medieval Armenian chants and excerpts from Khachaturian's deathless "Gayaneh."
The chants, arranged by Yasha Papian of the Komitas String Quartet, were lovely indeed. By turns serene and impassioned, the work's five brief movements showed off the qualities of the Los Angeles Cello Quartet in a most attractive light. Especially impressive were the quartet's judicious use of vibrato.
Aram Khachaturian's genius for composing brilliant and unforgettable melodies assured that his music could succeed in not just its original orchestral garb, but in any number of instrumental arrangements and orchestrations. Such was the case in the arrangement for cello quartet of two of the most frenetic moments from his ballet Gayaneh: the "Lezginka" and the famous "Saber Dance."
The muscular "Lezginka," with its whirling rhythms, pounding drums, and braying horns isn't a likely candidate for a successful transcription to cello quartet. But it's a testament to Khachaturian's lyric strength and the energy and flawless playing of the Los Angeles Cello Quartet that the transcription came brilliantly to life in their hands. No less stunning was the oft-heard "Saber Dance," which bristled with sinewy and tensile fury.
Biryukov's playing, wonderfully showcasing some of the best attributes of the Russian school of cello playing, was magnificent. His is a broad, sweeping musicianship of nearly unfettered strength and power. But his cohorts Garik Terzian, Natalie Virginia Helm, and Eugene Lifschitz were equally impressive, imparting a radiant sheen and immaculate precision to the ensemble's sound.
The second half of the program took the audience back home - literally. All residents of Los Angeles, the backgrounds of these four composers were a microcosm of Los Angeles itself, of what makes it a global capital. Composers Manuel Wittman and Luis Escareno are of Hispanic descent; Kenji Oh and Dena Gorilik from Japan and the former Soviet Union respectively. All four composers are current or past students at Los Angeles City College (LACC). It was through the LACC's Composers Club that the GPO String Quartet commissioned the works on the program.
Though Biryukov's prefacing of the segment by referring to the pieces being played as "ultra contemporary" clearly discomforted some of the older folks in the audience, the works of the LACC alums weren't abrasive in the least. Though sometimes chromatic, the works were ultimately all well-grounded in tonality.
Gorilik's three movement "Waiting" was a brief, amiable work with a knotty, fugal middle movement somewhat reminiscent of Shostakovich.
The world of film music wasn't very far away in Wittman's "Picture of Dorian Gray," which was inspired by the eponymous Oscar Wilde novel. Gestures that recalled Elfman, Williams, and Zimmer hurdled over one another as the work progressed.
Escareno found the inspiration for his "Reflections of a Lost Plain" in the folk music of Azerbaijian. Though never developing much beyond prolonged pedal points and Oriental folk-like recitatives and cadenzas, the work was nonetheless enjoyable enough.
But perhaps the most interesting work on the program was the final one: "Irritation" by Oh. A native of Kobe, Japan, the 30-year-old composer's quartet was an homage and depiction of an emotion not often commemorated in music. Venting his spleen with prickly ostinatos and zesty dissonances, it was a bracing way to conclude the concert and made one curious to hear more of Oh's work.
The playing by the GPO String Quartet, whose members comprise of Shushan Akopyan (1st violin), Edgar Sandoval (2nd violin), LaVette Allen (viola), and Biryukov also form the core of the GPO's string section. Their playing was sensitive and alert, demonstrating a great deal of concentration and care lavished over these new works.
Their appearance was also a taster of things to come. The GPO String Quartet, along with the rest of the GPO, is returning Jan. 8 for a concert that will include Prokofieff's Peter and the Wolf.

LA Cello Quartet: Armenian Mediaval Chant for Four Cellos





Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 8PM L'Ermitage Foundation Concert Series
Luxe Hotel in Bel Air, CA
Los Angeles Cello Quartet
  • Jewish Suite
  • Brazilian Suite
  • Bach - Air
  • Khachaturian - Saber Dance, Lezginka
    Tix/info: www.lermitagefoundation.org

  • March 10, 2018 @ 7PM Positive Motions Concert Series
    First Baptist Church of Glendale
    209 N. Louise St, Glendale, CA
    Program: TBD
    Tix: $15-$100
    Info: (323)663-3601, www.GlendalePhil.com