The Afiara Quartet is a young group of string players from Canada who are making their second appearance at IU’s Jacob School of Music’s Summer Festival. The quartet’s cellist Adrian Fung discussed the group’s personalities.
“Valerie Li is our first violinist. She plays and great and we’re all happy to be able to say that she doesn’t suffer from ‘first violinitus.’ That’s a strange sort of affliction that seems left over from an old European model. Valerie’s focus isn’t on being the leader; her focus is on on doing what the music calls for.
“Our second violinist, Yuri Cho, is kind of the peace maker in the group. She doesn’t speak often, but when she does we all listen. And we know that her voice is objective.
“Violist David Samuel is actually the person that I’ve know the longest of the group members. We met in the Toronto Youth Orchestra when I was just sixteen. Although the cello with its low voice is frequently responsible for both rhythmic and harmonic direction, David is really solid and I work very closely with him. I think we make a good team.”
Almost Like Bass Players
“I think that cellists, almost like bass players, tend to be the gregarious types among string players. In our quartet, I’m the romantic. I look for the big picture, the big ideas.”
After Fung finishes dissecting his group’s dynamics, he pauses before adding, ”I think that in many ways we fit together. We complete one another musically and personally. The differences and the similarities are all for the music.