Francis Chik, violin
Ayaka Ishiwatari, violin
Caleb Wong, viola
Cheng Yan-Ho, cello
A string quartet in demand around Asia, Europe, and the United States, Cong Quartet is the top prize and Adolf Betti Award winner of the Virtuoso & Belcanto’s Chamber Music Competition in Italy in 2022. They were also the first prize and Grand Prize winner at the 2019 Salzburg Mozart International Chamber Competition in Tokyo and the 2nd prize in the 2021 Kreutzer International Competition in Belgium and was a finalist of several international chamber music competitions. The quartet was priorly the Artist in Residence for the Master of Arts Programme and Ensemble-in-Residence of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) from 2019. The quartet is now managed by Le Dimore del Quartetto in Italy.
Supported by the Emerging Artists Scheme of the Hong Kong Art Development Council (ADC) and the Stichting Utopia (The Utopia Foundation), Cong Quartet is currently a quartet at the Nederlandse Strijkkwartet Academie (NSKA) in Amsterdam, as well as being on the young artist roster of the Musethica in Europe. The quartet has participated in the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar and the Robert Mann String Quartet Institute in New York, the Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Chamber Music Seminar at The Heifetz International Music Institute, the Intensive String Quartet seminar at Music Academy Hörpu in Iceland, the Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy in Japan, as well as the Chamber Music Residency in Great Mountain Music Festival in South Korea, sponsored by the Artsylvia Foundation. They have also coached young & adult chamber music at CUHK, the Madeline Island Chamber Music, HIMA USA and the Indiana University Summer String Academy. In 2022 summer, Cong Quartet performed in Cagliari & Lucca in Italy, Bourg-en-Bresse & Flaine in France, and Lakeside Chautauqua in Ohio, United States.
Their important mentors include Marc Danel, Artistic Director of the NSKA, Pacifica Quartet at Indiana University, Shmuel Ashkenasi & Nicholas Kitchen at the Heifetz Institute, Ivan Chan at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and have received coaching with Borodin, Cavani, Dover, Guarneri, Juilliard, Shanghai, Tokyo, Ying & Ysaye Quartets. Members of the Cong Quartet have collaborated and performed with world-renowned artists such as the Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Jorja Fleezanis, Adrien La Marca, Antonio Lysy, Mai Motobuchi, Enrico Pace, Rachell Wong, Maria Włoszczowska, Sterling Eliott and will be on giving a few performances with violinist Shannon Lee in 2023.
Cong Quartet believes that the humanistic experience of chamber music is a treasure to the community. They share the philosophy of promoting chamber repertoire from their generation and in Hong Kong, as well as integrating chamber music into the daily lives of audiences. The name of the quartet, “CONG” is a combination of the quartet founding members’ last names that allude to Hong “Kong”, where the members grew up and played together since their teenage years before the Quartet was officially formed at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in the US.
Highlights of their recent seasons included concert series in New York, Tokyo, Netherlands, France and Germany, performed as guest artists in recitals at various universities across the United States and a residency at the Composers Forum of the University of North Texas. They have also performed and were guest judges of the New Generation 2019 call-for-score competition of Hong Kong Composers' Guild, as well as regular collaborations with local venues, universities & organizations in Hong Kong such as Hong Kong Arts Festival, Tai Kwun, West Kowloon Cultural District, Jockey Club, World Culture Festival, City University, Asia Society and St. John‘s Cathedral.