Walton Arts Center is excited that one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world, the Dover Quartet is returning to Northwest Arkansas on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 at 7pm. This show is part of the 10x10 Arts Series and all tickets are $10. This year, the Dover Quartet joins the season outside of their role as resident Artosphere Festival Orchestra string quartet for a special performance alongside Grammy®-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital. Tickets are available now and can be purchased by calling Walton Arts Center’s Box Office at 479.443.5600 or by visiting waltonartscenter.org

The 10x10 Arts Series lives up to the huge expectations of years past by combining great shows with free interactive pre-show activities, get-togethers and conversations at 6pm. After the show, join the cast and fellow patrons with a post-show party with drinks and light snacks. Audience members will be encouraged to fill out and post comments on their Sticky Note located on the front of the program and post on the 10x10 feedback wall after each performance.

The Dover Quartet is comprised of Joel Link (violin), Bryan Lee (violin), Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (viola) and Camden Shaw (cello). A mainstay of Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO), the music presented by the four members of this talented ensemble – each with interpretative maturity and tonal refinement well beyond their years – is consistently a season highlight.

The Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, becoming one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. The New Yorker recently dubbed them “the young American string quartet of the moment,” while The Strad raved that the quartet is “already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretive maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble.” In 2013, the quartet became the first ever Quartet-in-Residence for the venerated Curtis Institute of Music.

The Dover Quartet won not only the Grand Prize but all three Special Prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition as well. They have won top prizes at the Fischoff Competition and the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, and taken part in festivals such as Chamber Music Northwest, Artosphere, La Jolla SummerFest, Bravo! Vail and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Additionally, members of the quartet have appeared as soloists with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic. During 2014-15, the Dover Quartet performed over 100 concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe. Highlights included concerts for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Schneider Concerts in New York City and Wigmore Hall in London.

Acknowledged by The New York Times for his "exquisitely sensitive playing" and “stunning agility,” Grammy®-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital is one of the world’s most exciting and adventurous contemporary musicians. He is deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin through virtuosic performance in a range of genres and commissioning new works for mandolin.

The first mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy, Avital is one of the foremost ambassadors for his instrument. “The exciting part of being a classical mandolin player,” he says, “is that it opens a wide field for creative freedom. When I commission new pieces and engage with different musical styles, I feel that I am bringing a new face of this instrument to light, uncovering what is hiding there.”

Over 90 contemporary compositions—15 of them concertos—have been written for him, while his inspired re-imaginings of music for other instruments include the arrangements heard on his 2015 ECHO Klassik Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording, Vivaldi. Avital is widely admired for his virtuosic performances in classical, world and contemporary genres. Avital has performed at venues including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonie, KKL Luzern, Vienna Konzerthaus, Dortmund Konzerthaus, Salle Gaveau, Globe Theatre in London and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.

Born in Be’er Sheva, southern Israel in 1978, Avital began learning the mandolin at the age of 8 and soon joined the flourishing mandolin youth orchestra founded and directed by his charismatic teacher, Russian-born violinist Simcha Nathanson. He later graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy and the Conservatorio Cesare Pollini in Padova, Italy where he studied the original mandolin repertoire with Ugo Orlandi.