Great Bay Philharmonic String Quartet – 2022
JESSE IRONS – VIOLIN
Jesse Irons can be found on stages throughout Boston, enjoying a busy and excitingly diverse musical life. As a member and co-artistic director of A Far Cry, he recently received a GRAMMY nomination. He has appeared in concerts across North America, Europe, and Central and Southeast Asia. Jesse’s playing has been described as “insinuating” by the New York Times, and he’s pretty sure they meant it in a good way.
His historically informed alter ego appears with The Boston Early Music Festival, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, and numerous small ensembles around Boston, including the quintet Gut Reaction. Jesse Irons recently performed as Concert Master with the Great Bay Philharmonic Orchestra to rave reviews at The Music Hall Historic Theater.
ASUKA USUI – VIOLIN
Japanese violinist Asuka Usui is a former student of the great violin pedagogue Eric Rosenblith.
Asuka has appeared with the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Topeka Symphony, Miami Pops, and the Florida Symphony. She has spent past summers performing at the International Musical Arts Institute in Maine, the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague, and teaching on the violin faculty at the Caritas String Summer Festival in Edinburgh.
She maintains a private violin studio and teaches in the Arlington Public Schools. Asuka previously taught lessons in the Wellesley Public Schools for three years. Asuka lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with her husband, violist Jason Fisher, their son Kaito and their daughter Aila.
Asuka holds a B.M. degree from the University of Kansas and a M.M. from the Longy School of Music.
JASON FISHER – VIOLA
Violist Jason Fisher is a Carnegie Hall Fellow and a Peabody Singapore Fellow, and he has toured Europe, Asia, Kazakhstan, and the Kyrgyz Republic. He has given concerts at Vienna Musikverein, Singapore Esplanade, The Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall.
Jason has performed with Pink Martini, Jake Shimabukuro, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa, members of the Florestan Trio, and the Æolus, Brentano, Cleveland, Emerson, Mendelssohn, and St. Lawrence String Quartets.
Principal violist of Boston Baroque, Jason plays period viola with the Handel and Haydn Society, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, The English Concert, ACRONYM Ensemble, The Thirteen, Seattle and Portland Baroque Orchestras, Byron Schenkman & Friends, Teatro Nuovo, Opera Lafayette, Relic, and The Sarasa Ensemble.
He has spent recent summers on viola and viola d’amore at the Staunton Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Connecticut Early Music Festival, and the Aston Magna Music Festival. Jason frequently performs as a band member and contractor for musical theatre at the American Repertory Theater, including world-premiere productions of Crossing, The Great Comet, Jagged Little Pill, Moby-Dick, and the upcoming revival of 1776.
He is on the chamber music and viola faculty at the Rivers School Conservatory and plays on an English viola by Richard Duke in 1768.
Violist Jason Fisher is a founding member of A Far Cry. A child of the Northwest, Jason grew up in Seattle and is a proud enthusiast of rainy days. At age eleven, he first picked up an instrument in elementary school when the orchestra teacher told him they needed “somebody to play the viola.”
Jason went on to study with Helen Callus, Victoria Chiang, Katherine Murdock, and Roger Tapping and is a graduate of Peabody Conservatory and the Longy School of Music.
JACQUES LEE WOOD – CELLO
Boston-based cellist Jacques Lee Wood has performed worldwide as a solo artist and chamber and orchestral musician. His activities as a performer reflect a broad range of interests – historical performance on period instruments, commissioning new works for both modern and baroque cello, improvisation that incorporates live electronics, and composing his material are just a few of the areas he explores in his creative scope.
Dr. Wood is Principal Cello of the Cape Symphony and is a member of several musical groups, including Aston Magna, StringLab, Pedroia Quartet, Antico Moderno, and the NYC-based bluegrass band Cathedral Parkway. He is a frequent guest artist with A Far Cry, Boston Baroque, House of Time, Yale Schola Cantorum, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Bachsolisten Seoul, Bach Collegium Japan, Juilliard 415, and the Handel and Haydn Society.
A recognized pedagogue, Wood is the cello professor at the University of New Hampshire and holds additional faculty positions at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (Intensive Community Program, BEAM Program) and Concord Academy.
He has held residencies at the Yale School of Music, Boston Conservatory, and Tufts University, to name a few. He has received fellowships from the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Yale Center for East Asian Studies for research at Sogang University (Seoul, South Korea), and the Yale School of Music for postdoctoral studies in early music with noted scholar and baroque violinist Robert Mealy. Wood is the founder and artistic director of the UNH Cello Festival and currently the cello faculty at the Summer Youth Music School (University of New Hampshire), Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Point Counterpoint.
An active guest lecturer and clinician, Dr. Wood has presented on a broad range of topics ranging from historical performance practice for the modern musician to music technology in the pedagogical process.
He is a frequent guest artist at the Great Mountains Festival (South Korea), Korea Strings Research Institute, Bari International Music Festival, Banff Centre, Avaloch Farm, Aston Magna, and the Manchester Summer Chamber Music Festival.
A Grammy-nominated recording artist, Wood has released recordings on the Hyperion, Musica Omnia, and Navona labels. Dr. Wood completed his BM at the New England Conservatory of Music under Laurence Lesser and holds a MM and DMA from Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot.