Jennings String Quartet
The members of the The Jennings Quartet have been playing music together for over 25 years. All are Vermont residents and play regularly together in various ensembles throughout the state including the Vermont Symphony. First violinist, Ira Morris and cellist, Perri Morris are brother and sister. In addition to the Vermont Symphony, members of the Jennings Quartet have performed with the Springfield, MA, Berkshire, Dartmouth, and Hartford Symphonies, the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Opera North and have performed in almost every concert Hall in Vermont.
Ira Morris, violin
Ira Morris graduated from Columbia College, Columbia University in 1985. He has been playing the violin since he was 8 years old. He has studied with Lilo Kantorowicz Glick, Matthew Raimondi and Benjamin Hudson, and attended numerous workshops with Kato Havas. He has been concertmaster of Columbia University Orchestra, Barnard-Columbia Philharmonia, Burlington Chamber Orchestra and the American Ballet East/Maine State Ballet Orchestra in Portland, Maine. He founded and was concertmaster of the Green Mountain Chamber Orchestra in Burlington, Vermont from 1995 to 1996. Since 1998, Ira has been a member of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is an avid chamber musician; he was a long-time member of the Queneska String Quartet, and is now one of the founding members of the Jennings Quartet. Ira teaches high school students and coaches them in advanced chamber music studies through Vermont Suzuki Violins (VSV); he is an experienced chamber music and orchestra sectional coach, having worked in this role through the Vermont Youth Orchestra, Dartmouth College, and Springfield (MA) Youth Orchestra.
Sofia Hirsch, violin
Inspired by her mother, also a violinist, Sofia Hirsch began studying violin at 4. She loved playing in the VYO ('84-88) and her VYO string quartet, competed nationally at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Junior Division. College took her in other directions, and it wasn't till 2000 that she joined the Vermont Symphony, then BCO as a founding member, and many other groups across the state including Dartmouth Handel Society, Dartmouth Symphony, Middlebury Opera, Middlebury Bach Festival and others. She performs regularly in Brandon, Stowe and Burlington with the Northern Third Piano Quartet. Her latest ventures combine live music and live dance, involving two of her dance mentors, past and current. She provides the music. Threads and Thresholds with Hannah Dennison in East Calais' historic Kent Museum, and across the state with Farm to Ballet, performing the solo in Vivaldi's 4 seasons. Sofia lives in South Burlington.
Elizabeth Reid, viola
A "fierce champion of today's music." (Times Argus), violist Elizabeth Reid is known as a captivating and robust performer of contemporary and classical music. Elizabeth has performed many solo viola concerts in Canada and the United States, premiering works by David Jaeger, Elisabeth Blair, Danielle O'Hallisey, John Mark Sherlock, and Erik Nielsen. This fall, she will be releasing her first solo viola album, featuring music of Toronto composer David Jaeger. Elizabeth is the principal violist of the Opera Company of Middlebury Orchestra and is in the chamber groups TURNmusic and the Northern Third Piano Quartet. She also performs regularly in a duo with pianist Alison Cerutti. Her degrees in viola performance are from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, and the Glenn Gould School (RCM) in Toronto, Canada.
Perri Morris, cello
Perri Morris studied cello with Lawrence Lesser, Ronald Feldman, and Aldo Parisot. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, a Master’s degree in Music Performance from U-Mass Amherst and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Mount Holyoke College. She has participated in music festivals at Tanglewood, Spoleto Festival of the Two Worlds, and The Waterloo Music Festival. Ms. Morris has been a member of the faculties at Mount Holyoke College, West Texas A&M, Keene State College and Westfield State College. She served as Assistant Principal Cello of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, (MA) for 19 years. Ms. Morris performs with the Vermont, Springfield, and Berkshire Symphonies, Opera North, and the New York Chamber Soloists. She is a guest faculty at the Chamber Music Conference at Bennington College and is the director of the strings program at the North Bennington Village School and the string teacher at The Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, MA . Ms. Morris is a registered Suzuki teacher and has private teaching studios in Williamstown, MA and Bennington, VT.