Sister Bay, Wis. (July 31, 2023) – Following a lengthy and thorough process of interviewing and auditioning dozens of incredibly talented applicants, Midsummer’s Music’s resident string quartet, the Griffon String Quartet, recently selected violinist Alex Norris and cellist Jesse Nummelin to join the celebrated ensemble.
Norris, who fills the quartet’s second violin position, is delighted with this opportunity to expand his diverse and exciting life as a chamber musician. He is a member of the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Stoughton Music Festival, and the Quad City Symphony. Red Cedar Chamber Music in Cedar Rapids, IA, and the Permian Basin String Quartet in Midland, TX, helped to shape his earlier chamber music experiences. His impressive orchestral background highlights include playing with the Chicago Civic Orchestra and being principal second violin of the Illinois Symphony.
Cellist Nummelin started Suzuki cello lessons at age four with the Aber Suzuki Center for the Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in cello performance at UW–Stevens Point, followed by a Master of Music at Arizona State University. Nummelin currently serves as the assistant principal cellist with the Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, and Duluth Superior Symphony, among others. He has taught cello at the Aber Suzuki Center for the Arts, Arizona State University, City of Lakes Waldorf School, Saint Paul Conservatory, and Mount Olivet School of Music.
As Griffon String Quartet members, musicians participate in the group’s programs throughout northeast Wisconsin: the Einstein Series of highly interactive programs for school-age children, including private or group lessons and educational outreach; the B Double Sharp program presenting miniconcerts for seniors and the disabled, especially targeting people with Alzheimer’s and dementia; and Community-Embedded programs that strengthen the musical infrastructure by demystifying chamber music and creating an experiential bridge from short presentations to full classical concerts.
One of the most vibrant and engaging quartets of its generation, the Griffon String Quartet was formed in the fall of 2018 by Midsummer’s Music. The quartet enriches the lives of children and adults throughout northeast Wisconsin through concerts, workshops, and music education outreach. Griffon members are professional musicians who have performed with orchestras and ensembles in the finest halls around the globe – from Carnegie Hall and Brazil’s Teatro Municipal de São Paulo to Japan’s Suntory Hall – and have won prestigious music competitions and awards. All are equally dedicated to music education and inspiring the next generation of music lovers. They have advanced degrees and significant experience, both as educators and performers, and the ensemble has been recognized for “its youthful vigor, which is absolutely infectious!”
Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. What began as two concerts among friends has become one of the Midwest’s most anticipated chamber music series, bringing thousands of chamber music enthusiasts from around the globe to the magical Door County Peninsula.
For more information visit www.midsummersmusic.com.