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The Argus Quartet shows its love for Los Angeles

USC Thornton alums open a concert series Friday afternoon at the USC Fisher Museum of Art

Argus Quartet musicians
The musicians feel rooted in Los Angeles. (Photo/courtesy of Argus Quartet)

The Argus Quartet is set to launch the first leg of a new concert series this week. Founded in 2013, the quartet consists of three USC Thornton School of Music alums — violinists Jason Issokson MM ’10 and Clara Kim DMA ’15 and violist Diana Wade ’13 — and cellist Joann Whang.

Aptly titled “Argus in LA,” the series features collaborative performances meant to enhance the communication and intimacy between the performers and audience members. Though they are currently pursuing further studies on the other side of the country, the musicians feel rooted in Los Angeles and plan to return.

“I think we really wanted to keep our ties to the city and give back to the LA community that has given so much to us,” Kim said. “We wanted to create our own concert series where we collaborated with a number of venues in different parts of town.”

On Oct. 2 at 2 p.m., the quartet performs at the USC Fisher Museum of Art under the funky name “Quartet Becomes Eclectic,” a reflection on the quartet’s plucky spirit and out-of-the-box approach to creating music.

The performance will feature a mash-up of Sibelius’ work combined with the quartet’s favorite short works and movements while incorporating media elements that point to the way in which music is consumed in a technological age. The group will perform this particular rendition again at Carnegie Hall later this month.

Hero worship

In addition to this series, the quartet recently embarked on a new chapter in their careers. This fall, they started a two-year String Quartet Fellowship at the Yale School of Music, which offers an exceptional young quartet the opportunity to work with the Brentano String Quartet.

It’s been a journey.

Clara Kim

“They’re kind of like our hero quartet,” Kim said. “We really admire what they do on stage, and as people they’ve really been incredible to us.”

Their lives and careers have now become bicoastal, and the big move has strengthened their bond.

“There’s some kind of comfort in growing with the same group of people in an intense period of time,” Kim said. “It’s been a journey. We’ve all enjoyed one another’s company and that’s what makes it fun.”

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