As the permanent quartet-in-residence of Music Haven, the Haven String Quartet's mission is to integrate music and creative endeavor into community life. The quartet provides access to free music education and world-class chamber music performances to residents in New Haven's most underserved neighborhoods. In conjunction with these activities, the Haven String Quartet actively performs in other communities, providing engaging performances in traditional concert halls and reaching new audiences in nonclassical venues.
Each quartet member is an exemplary performer who also enjoys the work of a teaching artist. They have graduated from such institutions as Yale University, Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Rice University, and Longy School of Music, and enjoy successful careers as performers and teachers.
Yaira Matyakubova, Resident Violinist
has performed in Carnegie Hall with the Silk Road Project in collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and Pinchas Zuckerman, and she is a tenured member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor's degree from The Harid Conservatory and her Master's degree from Rice University in Houston, where she was honored with a President's Award. Ms. Matyakubova further pursued her musical studies at Yale University from 2003-2005. Her teachers have included Syoko Aki, Kathleen Winkler, Julia Bushkova, and Isaak Reider.
Gregory Tompkins, Resident Violinist
is a native of Greenville, S.C. He holds a B.M. in violin performance and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music, where he was a student of Charles Castleman. Recently, he received his Master's degree from the New England Conservatory as a student of Lucy Chapman and Jennifer Frautschi. Gregory has participated in a variety of summer festivals across the United States, including Music Academy of the West, Spoleto Festival USA, the Castleman Quartet Program, and the National Repertory Orchestra. He concertizes regularly in solo and chamber recitals all over the eastern United States and has performed as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Colin Benn, Resident Violist
has been the resident violist of Music Haven and the Haven String Quartet since 2009. In addition to teaching viola, violin and bass, Colin has performed and given talks with the Haven String Quartet throughout New Haven, including at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas as well as the Yale University Art Gallery. Before moving to New Haven, he performed in orchestras throughout New York, Italy and South America. Colin received his Bachelor’s in Music from the Juilliard School where he studied with Toby Appel. He is a candidate for a Master's Degree at Longy School of Music of Bard College.
Philip Boulanger, Resident Cellist
maintains an active and varied career as a cellist. Prior to joining Music Haven as its Resident Cellist in 2013, Philip served as a Teaching Artist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, designing new and innovative curriculum for a variety of music education and outreach programs across Chicago Public Schools. Philip worked closely with Yo-Yo Ma on the Symphony’s Citizen Musician Initiative, including a performance together of Schubert's Cello Quintet, and joined the CSO cello section for their MusicNOW series. Philip received his Masters in Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University and was the teaching assistant to Hans Jensen at the Meadowmount School of Music. While at Northwestern, Philip also held the position of Assistant Principal Cellist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Philip received his Bachelors of Music from Boston University, and an Artist Certificate from the Krakow Academy of Music in Poland.
Miki Sawada, Resident Musician
is a native of Japan and a recent graduate of Yale School of Music, where she completed an Artist Diploma. A lover of historical instruments of the 18th and 19th centuries, she was presented on the Oneppo Chamber Music Series, playing fortepiano, as Yale's Chamber Music Competition winner. In addition, Miki loves working with composers of her generation and performing their works. She was recently a piano fellow in Yale's New Music Workshop at Norfolk, as well as in Atlantic Music Festival's Contemporary Music Ensemble. Miki also holds degrees from Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University, and is currently on staff at Yale School of Music as staff accompanist for strings. Miki started Music Haven's piano program in 2013 as part of a partnership between Music Haven and Yale's Music in Schools Initiative.