News & Publications
RSRS: John Sutherland Earle & the String Quartet of Northern Virginia
January 26, 2023
Sunday, February 5
3:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
The Rock Spring Recital Series welcomes John Sutherland Earle and the String Quartet of Northern Virginia, featuring piano sonata in G Major by Franz Schubert and Piano Quintet in E flat Major by Robert Schumann.
Free will donation; masks required.
Meet the Musicians:
John Sutherland Earle, piano
John studied solo and collaborative piano at the Oberlin Conservatory, Stanford University, and the Vienna Hochschule fűr Musik. His principle teachers were John Dupaquier, Peter Takacs, Adolph Baller, and Haggai Niv; recently he has begun coaching with Linda Monson and Eunae Ko Han at George Mason University. A National Merit and Fulbright Scholar as well as prizewinner at the Pacific International, Carmel Music Society, Palo Alto Symphony, and Misbin Competitions, he participated twice in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and has given concerts in more than a dozen states of the US, several countries of Europe, and in Russia and Japan. Since moving to the DC area in 2010, he has been performing regularly with several groups including the IBIS Chamber Music Society, Rock Creek Chamber Players, Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association, Friday Morning Music Club, and members of the US Army and Air Force Orchestras. In a parallel life, John is a University Professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.
String Quartet of Northern Virginia
The String Quartet of Northern Virginia is comprised of full-time professional freelance musicians from the DC area’s preeminent ensembles and has been delighting audiences in Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland since 2009. They specialize in performing a wide variety of styles and genres, from Shostakovich to Sondheim, Mozart to Metallica and beyond.
Diana LeGrand, violin
Diana LeGrand, from Assisi, Italy, started her music studies at age two and a half, learning from her mother, a teacher of violin and piano. At age 15, she was accepted to the North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) where she studied under the late Elaine Richey, first violinist of the Razamousky String Quartet. She received both her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Violin Performance and continued her studies at UNCSA with Robert Mann, the founding members of the Juilliard String Quartet, and with Nicholas Mann, second violinist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet. Returning to Italy, Diana continued her music studies at the Conservatory of Modena, receiving with honors her diploma in Violin Performance. Over the years, she has studied with such notable violinists as Vadim Brodski, first prize winner of the Wieniawski and Paganini International competitions, Paola Besutti from Florence, Italy, and Emanuel Hurwitz, first violinist of the Melos and Aeolian String Quartet. Diana is an active performer and teacher. Both have taken her around the world to Europe, the Americas, and Asia. She is currently the concertmaster and soloist of the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, based in Washington DC, and the current violinist of the Tony nominated Broadway show Forever Tango. She is a 2021 Latin Grammy Nominated Artist in the category of Best Tango Album. Her newly released album “Tango Without Borders” has already received four nominations for the 2023 Gardel Awards in Argentina. A review, by the DC Metro Theatre Arts, has said that “Diana LeGrand was able to bring such passion and drive to her performance through her absolutely breathtaking solos.”
Stephanie Flack, Violin
Violinist Stephanie Sims Flack enjoys a busy performing schedule as a freelance chamber and orchestral musician. She serves as Paragon Philharmonia’s Assistant Concertmaster and Board President as well as founder and violinist with String Quartet of Northern Virginia. Additionally, she performs as first violinist with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra (PASO) on the Latin Grammy Nominated album “Tango of the Americas” and the Gardel Award nominated album “Tango without borders.” Other national and international orchestral engagements include the Cambridge Philharmonic (England), Concertmaster of Ely Sinfonia (England), Arizona Opera and Baton Rouge Symphony.
Stephanie is in demand nationally and internationally as a workshop clinician and teaching artist. She served as co-director of the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute, music director for tours to England, Italy, Austria and Germany with Washington Preludio and as Board Chair for the Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Louisiana State University and Master of Arts degree from Indiana University. She enjoys teaching her 30 students in her home studio in Alexandria, Virginia where she resides with husband, Sean, daughters Emily and Shannon and their four dogs, Toby, Winnie, Pepper and Bandit.
Matthew Maffett, Viola
Matthew Maffett is a violist with the Air Force Strings, The United States Air Force Band, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, his Air Force career began in March 2011. Prior to joining the Air Force, Matthew was an active freelance musician in the Los Angeles area. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 2006 from Bowling Green State University, and an Artist Diploma from Indiana University in 2008. In 2011, he earned a Professional Studies Certificate from the Colburn School. Matthew has performed as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony as well as Il Camerata di Vocci. In addition, he has appeared in performances with artists such as P. Diddy, Taylor Swift and Dionne Warwick and his instructors have included Csaba Erdelyi, Atar Arad, Mimi Zweig and Paul Coletti. Highlights of Matthew’s Air Force career include a 2016 performance for Vice President Joe Biden at the Vice President’s Residence, as well as a performance at the Kennedy Center Honors banquet in 2014.
Rachel Sexton, Cello
Rachel Sexton has been a freelance chamber and orchestral musician in Washington D.C. since 2017. She completed her cello studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and UCLA, following with a Master’s of Music degree as Teaching Assistant to Julian Schwarz at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. She is currently Interim Principal Cellist of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra as well as Principal Cello of the Paragon Philharmonia. She also performs regularly with the Roanoke Symphony and Annapolis Symphony.