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Student String Quartet
Created in 2009, the University of North Dakota Student String Quartet is the flagship ensemble of the Strings Division of the UND Department of Music. The students with the UND Student String Quartet are supported through a special scholarship program funded by the UND Department of Music, the School of Graduate Studies, the College of Arts & Sciences and generous donors.
To support the String Quartet visit www.undalumni.org/strings
UND Student String Quartet Members (2014–2015)
Carlos Breña - Lima, Peru
Carlos Breña, from Lima, Peru, plays violin and is a first-year graduate student under the guidance of Drago. He holds a bachelor's degree and Licenciate of Music, majoring in violin performance, from the National Conservatory of Music in Lima. He has played several times with opera companies such as Romanza and Perú Clásico, accompanying Juan Diego Flórez, guest violinist with the National Symphonic Orchestra in Peru. He took first place in the Interschool Contest of Musical Audition in 2003 as well as at a National Concert Contest about Mozart in 2006. He played in France in 2009 for the Festival of Baroque Music led by "Chemins du Baroque." That same year, he traveled to Spain and Portugal with the Iberian American Youth Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Breña also got a chance to conduct the Youth Symphonic Orchestra in 2010. He also traveled to Belgium to the Gent Festival of Flanders with the American organization, "Traveling Notes." In 2011, he took a summer course on violin performance in Fontainebleau, France, obtaining a Diploma in Music-Fine Arts from the American Schools of Music and Fine Arts of Fontaienbleau.
Vinicius Sant'Ana - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Vinicius Sant'Ana, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, plays violin and is a junior majoring in music performance at UND. He began his musical studies at Grupo Pão de Açúcar Music Institute in Brazil, where he quickly became concertmaster of the Pão de Açúcar Orchestra. During his time as concertmaster, the orchestra performed in the United States, Argentina and Italy. In 2008, he began his college studies at the Pensacola Christian College in Florida, studying violin with Alberto Jaffe. Sant'Ana has been a member of the UND String Quartet since 2012. Currently, he is pursuing his undergraduate degree under the guidance of Drago. He regularly performs with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, and the Bismarck Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, he won first prize at both the Grand Forks and Bismarck Symphony Solo Competitions playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Lalo Symphonie Espagnole.
Tamara Auer - Sydney, Australia
Tamara Auer, from Sydney, Australia, started studying violin at age 9 with Stephanie Brown and in 2003 was accepted into the Australian Institute of Music Sydney where she studied viola with Professor Robin Wilson. In 2005 she began studying with Felicity Tsai (violist in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra) and in 2006 she won the ‘Sydney Youth Orchestra Endangered Instrument Scholarship’. From 2007 to 2010 she played in SBS Youth Orchestra performing in the annual Opera Highlights concert at the Sydney Opera House and touring Germany, Poland and Vienna producing televised broadcast performances for SBS television. In 2009 Tamara moved to Italy and was accepted into the Milan Conservatory where she studied viola with Maestro Claudio Pavolini. Every August from 2009 to 2015, she performed and attended masterclasses at the Prague Summer Music Festival, studying with violist Iakov Zats. In 2013 she was invited to take part in the ‘Rencontres Musicales de Mediterranee’ Festival in Corsica where she performed Verdi's String Quartet with the Milan Conservatory string ensemble. In 2014 she was principal viola in a production of the Marriage of Figaro at the Lahn Festival in Frankfurt, Germany. In May 2015 she was awarded first prize in the string quartet category in the 'National Chamber Music Competition for Young Performers in Italy. She has just begun a Masters in Viola Performance at the University of North Dakota under the instruction of Dr Alejandro Drago.
Kara Hartten - Redding, Connecticut
Kara Hartten, from Redding, Conn., began her musical studies at the age of five in her hometown of Redding. She has studied with Drs. Darilyn Manring, Yeon-Ji Yun, and Eric Edberg, as well as performed in master classes with renowned cellists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Matt Haimovitz, Nicholas Photinos, Anna Clift and Laszlo Varga. After completing both a Bachelor of Music Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in French at DePauw University, Hartten continued her musical and cultural studies in Versailles, France. While taking a French course at the Université Inter-Âges of Versailles, Hartten studied cello with Natalie Jacquet at the Conservatoire d'Evry outside of Paris. Currently, Hartten is pursuing a Master of Music Degree in Cello Performance under Dr. Simona Barbu at UND. In May of 2014, Hartten performed with UND's Red River Trio in a tour of China and Japan. In addition to working as the graduate teaching assistant in cello, orchestra and string quartet at UND, Hartten performs with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony and Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestras, as well as works with local music programs and teaches private lessons.