The Verona Quartet
Acclaimed for its “bold interpretive strength, robust characterization and commanding resonance” (Calgary Herald), the Verona Quartet has spellbound audiences worldwide, unlocking the secrets of the music through the “intimate way they communicate with each other and the audience.” (Boston Arts Fuse)
Delicate craftsmanship, luminous sound and a dramatic poise are all hallmarks of the virtuosity that fuses together violinists Jonathan Ong, Dorothy Ro, violist Abigail Rojansky and cellist Jonathan Dormand to create the Verona Quartet. The group’s singular sense of purpose earned them Chamber Music America’s coveted Cleveland Quartet Award in 2020, and a reputation as an “outstanding ensemble...cohesive yet full of temperament.” (The New York Times) Deeply committed educators, the Verona Quartet serves as Quartet-in-Residence at the Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio.
A string quartet for the 21st Century, the Verona Quartet champions the storied history of the string quartet alongside music that reflects the current world in which we live, including those commissioned and written for them by composers Julia Adolphe, Sebastian Currier, Corey Dundee, Texu Kim and Michael Gilbertson. The VQ has cultivated a dynamic approach to collaboration and programming that includes cross-cultural and interdisciplinary enterprises. Recent projects feature performances with dancers from Brooklyn’s Dance Heginbotham, artistic exchanges with traditional Emirati poets in the UAE and collaborations with Grammy-winning folk supergroup I’m With Her.
The Verona Quartet has appeared across four continents enchanting audiences at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall and Melbourne Recital Hall, in addition to appearing at festivals including La Jolla Summerfest, Chamber Music Northwest, Caramoor, Bravo! Vail, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As Ensemble-in-Residence with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle in North Carolina, the VQ curates the UpClose Chamber Music Series, bringing the visceral energy of classical music to diverse audiences in venues ranging from concert halls to craft breweries.
In addition to their Oberlin residency, the Verona Quartet holds residency positions at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Lunenburg, NS) as well as Indiana University Summer String Academy (Bloomington, IN). Each year, reaching thousands of people, the Verona Quartet’s community and educational workshops inspire new listeners and performers through the joys of chamber music.
The Verona Quartet rose to international prominence after rapidly sweeping top prizes at the Wigmore Hall, Melbourne, Osaka, M-Prize International Chamber Music Competitions and the Concert Artists Guild Competition.
The ensemble’s “thoughtful, impressive” performances (Cleveland Classical) emanate from the spirit of storytelling; the Quartet believes that the essence of storytelling transcends genre and therefore the name "Verona" pays tribute to William Shakespeare, one of the greatest storytellers of all time.
Jonathan Ong - Violin
Singaporean violinist Jonathan Ong is a founding member of the acclaimed Verona Quartet. He has performed across the world in international venues such as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, Beijing and Shanghai Concert Halls, Melbourne Recital Hall, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Jonathan has been recognized with top prizes at international competitions across four continents, including the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, London's Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition; the M-Prize, Osaka, Melbourne and Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competitions; the Fischoff and Coleman National Chamber Music Competitions; the Singapore National Violin Competition and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artists Competition. As a member of the Verona Quartet, he was featured as Musical America's "New Artist of the Month" in May 2016, and has appeared on National Public Radio, WQXR New York Classical Radio, WFMT Chicago Classical Radio and The Weekly Special on PBS.
Jonathan has served as concertmaster of orchestras at the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival and Indiana University, and was previously concertmaster of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra for two seasons. He has collaborated with eminent artists such as Renee Fleming, Cho-Liang Lin, Orion Weiss, David Shifrin, Burt Hara, Jorja Fleezanis, Atar Arad, the Pacifica Quartet, as well as musicians of the MET Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and LA Philharmonic. A strong proponent of new music, he has premiered works by composers such as Richard Danielpour,
Michael Gilbertson, Robert Aitken and most recently a new work by Sebastian Currier, co-commissioned by Boosey & Hawkes and the Chelsea Music Festival.
Jonathan is a graduate of The Juilliard School, Indiana University, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music. His principal mentors include Donald Weilerstein, Alexander Kerr, Paul Kantor, Fredell Lack, Lynn Blakeslee and Lynette Lim. He has served as a teaching assistant at The Juilliard School and Indiana University, and is on faculty at the Indiana University Summer String Academy. He has also taught and given masterclasses at Oberlin Conservatory, San Jose State University and NYU-Abu Dhabi, and has held educational residencies at the Lunenberg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia, Canada), and the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn.
Jonathan is a recipient of scholarships and grants from numerous organizations such as the Dorothy R. Starling Foundation, Lee Foundation, Shaw Foundation, and the National Arts Council of Singapore. He grateful for the loan of a c. 1686 Joseph Guarnerius filius Andreae violin from the Rin Collection, and an American bow from an anonymous donor.
Dorothy Ro - Violin
Canadian violinist Dorothy Ro is a member of the Verona Quartet, currently the Graduate Quartet in Residence at the New England Conservatory of Music. Ms. Ro is also a graduate of the Juilliard School, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her professors include Paul Kantor, David and Linda Cerone, Donald Weilerstein, and Alexander Kerr.
Her violin training began at age of five in Halifax, Nova Scotia, studying with her early mentors, Myung-Hae Yoon and Philippe Djokic. Ms. Ro participated in many competitions growing up that include the OSM Standard Life Competition in Montreal, the 2012 Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition where she received the second prize, as well as winning top prizes at the Canadian National Music Competition and awards from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust and the Debut Atlantic RBC Award for Musical Excellence.
Ms. Ro has been a fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival and School and has spent summers at the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, the Robert Mann Quartet Institute, the Banff Centre Music Program, and the Montreal International String Quartet Academy.
As a member of the Verona Quartet, she is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition along winning top prizes at several international competitions. She is on faculty at the Indiana University Summer String Academy and has also coached chamber music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and given masterclasses at the La Jolla Summefest.
Abigail Rojansky - Viola
Abigail Rojansky is the violist of the Verona Quartet, the current Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School in New York City. As a part of the Verona Quartet, Ms. Rojansky was also Graduate Quartet in Residence at the IU Jacobs School of Music.
Originally a violinist, Ms. Rojansky began her studies at the age of eight in the San Francisco Bay Area, California under Patricia Drury and Erika Miranda. Just two years later upon being accepted to the Crowden School of Music, a unique secondary school for promising young musicians, she took up the viola alongside the violin and maintained both until pursuing a Bachelor of Music in viola performance from Oberlin Conservatory studying with Karen Ritscher between 2007-2011. While at Oberlin, she also received a minor in Musicology and a Focus in Conducting. Ms. Rojansky has pursued viola studies with Helen Callus, and Madeline Praeger as well. In 2013, Ms. Rojansky completed her Master of Music from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Atar Arad and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School.
Ms. Rojansky has performed as soloist with the Youth Music International Festival Orchestra and the Diablo Valley Chamber Orchestra. She has also participated in several festivals including the Mannes Beethoven Institute and the Domaine Forget International Music Festival in Quebec, Canada. She has performed chamber music recitals with Eric Kim, Don Ehrlich, Miles Graber, Jean-Michel Fonteneau, Chih-Yi Chen, Atar Arad and James Campbell.
Ms. Rojansky’s work with the Verona Quartet has included numerous television and radio
appearances and more than ten top prize wins at national and international chamber music competitions including the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. As a part of the Verona Quartet, Ms. Rojansky is currently represented by Concert Artists Guild Management having won the Victor Elmaleh Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2015. She has performed across the United States and in the U.K., Australia, the United Arab Emirates, China, Singapore, Japan, Germany, and Quebec in venues such as Wigmore Hall, the Melbourne Recital Centre, Walt Disney, Davies Symphony, Beijing, Izumi and Esplanade concert halls.
Jonathan Dormand - Cello
Cellist Jonathan “JD” Dormand has performed internationally on stages including London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre, as well as New York’s Weill Recital Hall and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Jonathan’s performances have been praised by the Boston Globe for being “elastic in phrasing and transparent in detail.” Ariane Todes, the former editor of the Strad magazine, noted “Dormand is a fine and thoughtful player, for whom everything works securely and easily.”
Jonathan is a Laureate of the Isang Yun International Cello Competition 2012 in South Korea, and the Pierre Fournier Award 2015 in London, where he was awarded a Major Incentive Grant. Further awards have been from the Hattori Foundation, Countess of Munster Musical Trust and a Williamson Foundation grant in California.
His principal teachers were Gillian Thoday at Chetham’s School of Music, Hannah Roberts at the Royal Northern College of Music, Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory and Ralph Kirshbaum at USC Thornton School of Music. Jonathan pursued further guidance from David Geringas in Los Angeles and Steven Isserlis at IMS Prussia cove.
Jonathan’s work as a Chamber musician has been extensive. He has appeared at major international festivals including IMS Prussia Cove “Open Chamber Music”, t Symphony’s Ravinia Festival, Yellow Barn, Sunset ChamberFest (Los Angeles) and the Verbier Festival. He has collaborated with acclaimed musicians such as pianists John O’Conor and Peter Frankl, violinists Midori, Phillipe Graffin and Donald Weilerstien, ‘cellist Ralph Kirshbaum and singers Lucy Shelton and Rod Gilfrey. Jonathan was a founding member of the cello quintet
SAKURA, declared by the L.A. Times as “superb” and “brilliant” with whom he performed at the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival 2016.
Dormand’s passion for contemporary music has led to performances at Carlsbad Contemporary Music Festival and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Soluna’ Festival. Additionally, Jonathan has been the featured soloist of contemporary cello concertos with Ensemble TIMF in South Korea, Thornton Edge and USC Symphony in California and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Britain. Many of Jonathan’s performances have been recorded and broadcast on the radio in both in Europe and USA.
As an orchestral musician, Jonathan has served as guest principal cellist with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Royal Northern Sinfonia and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. A committed and dedicated teacher, Jonathan has taught at Yellow Barn’s Young Artist Program. In addition to being on the faculty at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.