The internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet is one of the most dynamic ensembles of their generation. Praised by The Strad for possessing “maturity beyond its members’ years,” they were formed at the Juilliard School in 2003. Since the time of the Quartet’s inception they have won awards in several international competitions including the Grand Prize in both the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and the Alice Coleman International Chamber Music Competition, and the Radio Listener’s Choice Award in the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. From 2011-2013 they served as the Juilliard Graduate Resident String Quartet, and for the 2014-2015 season they were selected as the Quartet in Residence by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. As stated by The Washington Post, “Mastery like this is scarce enough in quartets that have played together for decades.”
In the 2019-2020 season, the Attacca Quartet will be touring extensively throughout the United States and abroad. Highlights of the season will include appearances at the White Lights Festival in Lincoln Center, the MiTO Festival in Italy, the Sydney Festival in Australia, and tours throughout North and South America, Asia, the UK, and Norway. The group currently serves as the Ensemble-in-Residence at the School of Music at Texas State University.
The Attacca Quartet recently released an album on the Nonesuch/New Amsterdam label featuring the string quartet works of Caroline Shaw. The album has already received critical acclaim from numerous sources and has been labeled “Best Albums of 2019 So Far” on NPR.
The Attacca Quartet recently completed a recording project of Haydn’s masterwork “The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross,” arranged by Andrew Yee and the Attacca Quartet. In his review for Gramophone, Donald Rosenberg wrote, “The Attacca Quartet explore the work’s range of expressive moods with utmost sensitivity to nuance and interplay .... They triumph in every respect, and are captured in such vivid sound that no telling Haydn detail is allowed to go unheard.” Thewholenote.com wrote, “It’s easily the most satisfying string version of the work that I’ve heard.”
In 2013, the quartet released the complete works for string quartet by John Adams on Azica Records. It was praised by Steve Smith of The New York Times as a “vivacious, compelling set,” describing the Attacca Quartet’s playing as “exuberant, funky, and … exactingly nuanced.” The Boston Globe also praised the release, stating, “Few [recent recordings] are as consequential as ‘Fellow Traveler,’ … superb performances.” The album was the recipient of the 2013 National Federation of Music Clubs Centennial Chamber Music Award. The quartet has been honored with both the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association and the Lotos Prize in the Arts from the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation.
The Attacca Quartet has engaged in extensive educational and community outreach projects, serving as guest artists and teaching fellows at the Lincoln Center Institute, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Vivace String Camp in New York, the Woodlands ChamberFest in Texas, Virginia Arts Festival, Bravo! Vail Valley and Animato Summer Music Camp at Florida International University in Miami. From 2006 to 2018 they performed in yearly benefit concerts supporting the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s efforts. The members of the Attacca Quartet currently reside in New York City. They are represented by Polyarts.
New York based violinist and pedagogue Amy Schroeder has been hailed by the Washington Post as ‘an impressive artist whose playing combines imagination and virtuosity.’ She has soloed with orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Amherst Symphony, the Clarence Symphony, the Hilton Head Symphony, and the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra. As a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet, Ms. Schroeder has soloed with the Spanish National Orchestra with composer John Adams conducting, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra with Marin Alsop conducting. Since its inception the Attacca Quartet has won an array of awards including the grand prize in the Osaka International String Quartet Competition, the National Federation of Music Clubs Centennial Chamber Music Award, the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association, and the Lotos Prize in the Arts from the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation. The quartet has also held prestigious residencies including one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and currently at Texas State University in San Marcos. With the Attacca Quartet Ms. Schroeder can be heard on several critically acclaimed recordings produced by Azica Records: “Fellow Traveler” the complete works of John Adams, Haydn: “Seven Last Words,” and “Songlines,” works of Michael Ippolito. In 2016 the Quartet completed a six year project in which they performed all 68 of Haydn’s String Quartets. The group is currently presenting two projects in New York: “Based on Beethoven,” a series featuring the string quartets of Beethoven alongside new works, and “Recently Added,” a series on which they perform the complete string quartets of living composers.
Ms. Schroeder is proud to have recently joined the music faculty at Vassar College where she will teach violin students as well as chamber music. She also recently formed the Schroeder Umansky Duo with her husband Felix Umansky, internationally celebrated cellist and member of the Harlem Quartet. In 2002 she was the recipient of the Henrietta and Albert J. Ziegle Jr. Scholarship, which provided the tuition for her studies at Juilliard where she was a student of Sally Thomas and the Juilliard String Quartet. Growing up in Buffalo, NY Ms. Schroeder began her violin studies with Karen Campbell and Thomas Halpin. She currently plays on two different violins, a Fernando Gagliano made in 1771 on loan to her from the Five Partners Foundation, and a violin made by Nathan Slobodkin in 2012. In New York Ms. Schroeder teaches violin and piano to students of all ages, and in her spare time she enjoys composing, traveling with her husband, and scuba diving.
Praised by the Strings Magazine for possessing a sound “with probing quality that is supple and airborne” and for her “pure, pellucid bow strokes”, violinist Keiko Tokunaga spends most of her days touring and performing globally as a soloist and chamber musician. A passionate advocate of the chamber music of all eras, violinist Keiko Tokunaga has already established a formidable reputation as a soloist and a chamber musician across North and South America, Europe, Australia, and in her native Japan. As a member of the New York-based Attacca Quartet, Ms. Tokunaga has soloed with orchestras including the Spanish National Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Amherst Symphony Orchestra and Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. She has performed both as a soloist and a chamber musician in such major venues as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rubin Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Banff Centre in Canada, Ohji Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and Izumi Hall in Osaka. Ms. Tokunaga recently released her debut solo album, “Jewels,” from New York Classics in 2016.
When she is not on the road, Ms. Tokunaga enjoys her career as an educator. She has been on faculty at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Ear Training Division since 2008, and she has served as violin faculty at the Fordham University, the Hunter College of New York, the Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival, and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute. Ms. Tokunaga's private students range from absolute beginners to winners of international competitions, and she welcomes students from all ethnic and cultural background.
Ms. Tokunaga holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees as well as Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School. She loves cats, pyramids and the Legend of Zelda.
Ms. Tokunaga’s partner-in-crime is a Stefano Scarampella violin from 1900 and Nicolas Maire bow from circa 1850.
Hailed by the New York Times as an “elegant soloist” with a sound “devotional with its liquid intensity,” Nathan is a composer, entrepreneur, and violist of the Attacca Quartet. Nathan has collaborated with many of the great artists of today including Björk, Itzhak Perlman, Sting, David Crosby, Becca Stevens, David Byrne, Trey Anastasio, Joshua Bell, Simon Rattle, and others. He has premiered music by Steve Reich, Nico Muhly, Timo Andres, Elliot Cole and Gabriel Kahane. Nathan is also a violist in the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, Decoda and an Honorary Ambassador to the city of Chuncheon, South Korea.
Apart from performing, Nathan is the Founder and Executive Director of Musicambia. Founded in 2013, Musicambia brings music learning and ensemble performance to prisons throughout the United States. Through working closely with incarcerated individuals on performance, music theory, ear training and composition, Musicambia’s professional musicians build artistic communities that nurture the humanity of all involved. Musicambia currently runs a music conservatory in Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York with other programs in Indiana and South Carolina. In addition to their work in the U.S., Musicambia has collaborated with projects in Venezuela and Scotland.
Schram is a prizewinner of the 2007 Primrose International Viola competition, the 2006 Corpus Christi Concerto Competition and a First Prize winner of the 2008 ASTA National Solo Competition. He studied viola at Indiana University with Alan de Veritch and at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain with Diemut Poppen and Yuval Gotlibovich. Afterwards, as an Ensemble Connect Fellow, he was documented by radio journalist Jeff Lunden for a 2-year, four-part series for NPR’s Weekend Edition.
Andrew Yee has been praised by Michael Kennedy of the London Telegraph as “spellbindingly virtuosic…remember that you heard [his] name here first.” He is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet, winners of the 7th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and winners of the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 60th annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. Praised by Strad for possessing “maturity beyond its members’ years,” the Attacca Quartet has recorded the complete string quartet works of John Adams and recently finished an ambitious six-year project called “the 68” in which they performed all sixty-eight of Haydn’s string quartets in concert. In the 2015-16 season they were the resident string quartet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (a position formerly held for 43 years by the Guarneri Quartet). His other interests include; making coffee (he was an espresso educator at Joe coffee for several years), making and consuming old-fashioneds (he washed dishes at his favorite cocktail bar in New York), cooking like an Italian grandma (he apprenticed in a little old lady’s restaurant in Italy while he was at the Spoleto Festival in Umbria), drawing still lifes of apples with charcoal, and making stop-motion recipes with a quartet soundtrack (thehungrycellist.tumblr.com). He plays on an 1884 Eugenio Degani cello on loan from the Five Partners Foundation.