Founded in 2009, the Freya String Quartet (Jason Neukom, Ashley Buckley, Jason Hohn, Katya Janpoladyan) is dedicated to performing a wide range of music, advocating artistic evolution, and teaching the importance of classical music in the Pittsburgh area. It has been the personal goal of the ensemble to go beyond the traditions of the classical music world by breaking boundaries and reaching new audiences through innovative performances and unique methods. Freya helped create Symbiotic Collusion in 2011 in an effort to maximize the possibilities of these goals.
The members have been featured in performances throughout the US, Asia, South America and Europe and have studied with members of the Cleveland Quartet, Ying Quartet, Alexander String Quartet, Cavani String Quartet, Daedalus Quartet, Fry Street Quartet, Los Angeles Piano Quartet, and others. Freya gives many performances in a variety of venues, using a vast array of repertoire that spans from Shostakovich to Glass and Beethoven to Radiohead. The quartet is always looking for interesting works, collaborations and projects.
The members of Freya are very passionate about music education, both in regard to reaching out to the general public and in stressing the importance of music in the public school system. Freya has spent the last three years donating time to public schools in the Pittsburgh area by giving short concerts, teaching lesson plans, helping students learn valuable chamber music skills, and assisting music teachers in recruiting students for their programs. The quartet feels it is also important to support new music, and has performed the works of several living Pittsburgh classical composers and also frequently works with local popular artists and can be heard on several of their albums.
Recent Freya projects include performing for Opera Theater of Pittsburgh SummerFest’s Mozart Camp, a collaborative concert with the Arabesque Winds and Alia Musica to feature new works by Pittsburgh composers, recording string parts for Pittsburgh artist Joy Ike’s new album, All or Nothing, and performing a new song set entitled The Ghost & Mister Able for First Night Pittsburgh at their downtown performing space, The Sound Gallery. Upcoming Freya projects include a debut album featuring ten light, new works by composers Richard Neukom and Sean Neukom, one of which the quartet recently performed live on WQED classical radio. Other upcoming albums include a set of new songs for quartet and drums entitled Freya Plugged In, and a studio version of The Ghost & Mister Able, which is set to be released in the summer of 2013. Freya will also be the quartet in residence this summer at the Charlotte New Music Festival and also for Pittsburgh Opera Theater’s SummerFest.