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The Vega Quartet
The Vega Quartet with David Coucheron (far left) filling in on violin; Emily Daggett Smith has joined the group as first violinist.

News briefs: Emory Chamber cancels January concerts; Vega Quartet

The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta has canceled all its January events due to the spike in Covid cases. 

Emory University has shifted to online classes through at least January 31, and canceled all live concerts and master classes until then. 

Although many of the society’s concerts were scheduled to be off campus, William Ransom — the society’s founder and artistic director — said the surge had created too many logistical issues to overcome.

“Because of out-of-town musicians, rehearsal limitations and technical limitations, we have decided not to try and livestream or record our January events, and just wait until February to pick things up again,” Ransom said in an email. “If this continues beyond January 31, we will revisit that decision and go back to livestreaming.”

The canceled concerts are:

— The January 16 Fernbank Museum Family Series “Dinosaurs and other Music Creatures” program.

— The January 21 Cooke Noontime Series featuring violinist Itamar Zorman.

— The January 28 Family Series Pajama Concert.

— The January 29 Emerson Series “String Theory” with violinist Cho-Liang and friends.


The Vega String Quartet fills out its roster

The Vega String Quartet, in residence at Emory University, is back to being a full quartet after spending most of the pandemic as a trio.

Violinist Elizabeth Fayette left the Vega group at the beginning of the pandemic to pursue other opportunities. New first violinist Emily Daggett Smith will play her first concert with the group in February in Atlanta.

Smith has performed across the world, earning praise from The Boston Globe and The Seattle Times, and made her New York concerto debut at the age of 21 playing the Beethoven Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall. She has also performed in Carnegie Hall, the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Vienna Konzerthaus. 

Her appearance as part of the Beethoven For One series in New York City was hailed by The New Yorker critic Richard Brody: “I’ve heard Beethoven performed in large and famous concert halls by some of the great quartets of the era (including the Juilliard, the Emerson, and the Takács); none came close to delivering the jagged immediacy and breathtaking intimacy of Saturday afternoon’s quartet . . . The greatness of these not-yet-famous musicians was revealed and exalted in closeup . . .  For me, ‘Beethoven for One’ stands as an ideal and a corrective to the usual run of classical concerts, even after they’re able to resume.”