School of Music welcomes new graduate string quartet

Francesca Azzollini, Erick Tinitana, Haziel Candido Da Silva Santos, and Benjamin Bernardes form CMU's newest quartet

| Author: Kendall Weishaupt | Media Contact: Kara Owens

Central Michigan University welcomes a new graduate string quartet. The quartet brings Master of Music students, Francesca Azzollini, Erick Tinitana, Haziel Candido Da Silva Santos, and Benjamin Bernardes from Ecuador, Brazil, and Italy to Mt. Pleasant.   

The quartet will cover music from the Classical/Romantic and Contemporary eras. Works from Classical/Romantic composers will likely include Mozart and Beethoven. Works from modern composers will likely include Caroline Shaw and Bryce Dessner. Alicia Valoti, Associate Professor of Viola and the quartet’s advisor, says “the string quartet will be working to integrate their own personal and musical styles into one balanced sound.”  

Azzollini is a violin player from Italy. She spent time, prior to CMU, studying and playing chamber music at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Professor Valoti brought the idea of CMU’s Master of Music program to Azzollini’s attention in 2022. She always wanted to study abroad, so she took the opportunity to come to Mt. Pleasant. While at CMU, she plans to study and explore pieces for her solo and quartet work and make new friendships and connections. 

Tinitana is a viola player from Ecuador. Before coming to CMU, he taught violin and viola at a middle school. During his undergraduate years, he played violin, but due to a lack of viola players, his professor encouraged him to play the viola. He also found CMU through Professor Valoti and took the opportunity to play viola in the string quartet. During his time at CMU, he plans to learn as much as possible from his professors, make new connections, and enjoy his time in Mt. Pleasant. 

Santos is a cellist from Brazil. Before coming to CMU, he was the second principal cellist at the Orquestra Sinfonica do Teatro da Paz. The faculty and opportunity to learn brought him to CMU. While in Mt. Pleasant, he hopes to connect with the other quartet players, meet new people, and enjoy what Mt. Pleasant has to offer. 

 Bernardes is a violin player from Brazil. While at CMU, he plans to gain an in-depth understanding of how to work with a high-level musical group. Also, he plans on using the great environment of the School of Music to expand his knowledge and opportunities.  

  The quartet will perform together for a two-year period. Professor Valoti says “Rehearsal techniques, intonation, and trust are tenets of the string quartet which will need to be built.” The quartet will represent CMU’s School of Music, and Valoti has hopes that they will perform nationally and internationally.  

This story is brought to you by the  Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

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