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
Yaira Matyakubova 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
Gregory Tompkins 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
Colin Benn, holds a Bachelor’s of Music from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Toby Appel. In 2003, he played a season with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra in Rio de Janeiro as well as recording sessions for CDs and films with artists Milton Nascimento, Wagner Tiso, and the Rio Strings. He played the 2004 season with the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra and participated in the orchestra's concert tour of Latin America. He returned to the United States to pursue further studies with Mark Lakirovich. Before joining Music Haven, he played in regional opera orchestras in New York and for the two summers in OperaFestival in Florence, Italy. He recently performed with Ensemble Tomscha at Bargemusic in New York City.
Philip Boulanger, resident cellist
Philip Boulanger maintains an active and varied career as a cellist. Prior to joining Music Haven as its Resident Cellist, 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 fellow
Through an exciting new collaboration with Yale School of Music,
pianist Miki Sawada joins us as a resident musician fellow. Miki is from Japan, but has spent many years abroad, most prominently in the States. Miki is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at Yale School of Music under the tutelage of Wei-Yi Yang, and holds degrees from Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University. She has given solo and chamber music performances internationally in venues and occasions such as Music on Main (Vancouver), the Banff Centre, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Aurora Music Festival (Sweden), Moulin d’Andé (France), Chicago Symphony Center’s Macy’s Day of Music, and Pianofest in the Hamptons with eminent musicians such as Edgar Meyer, Axel Strauss, and Jonathan Crow. Miki spent the last school year as a Teaching Artist for Yale's Music in Schools Initiative, teaching piano after school at Lincoln-Bassett Elementary School and working with the All-City Honors' Choir in New Haven, Conn.