The Opus 76 Quartet Biography

The Opus 76 Quartet, now entering it’s 2nd season, has become known for its entertaining and energetic interpretations of the classics. Internationally renowned classical music journal The Strad featured a recent performance, commenting "a beautiful Sunrise from [the] Opus 76 Quartet...you're still allowed to watch [the performance], in fact we insist that you do." KC Arts Beat recently described the quartet as a “remarkable group of dedicated musicians [who] played with charm and vitality, [and are] well worth hearing again and again,” and praised a recent performance for being “marked by the highest degree of professionalism and musical acumen.” The KC Independent noted that “There’s good reason to believe that Opus 76, Kansas City’s ‘new resident string quartet’ is on course to blaze a trail.” Based in Kansas City, Keith Stanfield, Zsolt Eder (violins), Ashley Stanfield (viola) and Sascha Groschang (cello) perform 40 concerts a year together in the United States. 


During the 2019-20 season, the quartet will continue its free “Classical Series” - expanding the series from 6 concerts last season to 9. These concerts are all free admission as a service to the community of Kansas City. Hosted by Old Mission United Methodist Church, the series provides free refreshments and a family friendly atmosphere, all based around a live performance of two quartets – typically featuring work by Mozart, Haydn or Beethoven. In Fall 2019, the ensemble will also perform two different concerts live on Kansas Public Radio, and begin a residency at Bishop Spencer Place, performing the quartet’s first full Beethoven Cycle, which will continue throughout the season. A recital tour throughout the Midwest will culminate in a recording of Haydn op.76 no.4 “Sunrise,” Mozart quartet no. 16 (k.428) and Beethoven op.74 “Harp” - the quartet’s first full album. The CD is scheduled for release in Summer 2020. To honour the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s death, the Opus 76 Quartet will embark upon a six week Beethoven Cycle in Fall 2020, at six community centered venues across Kansas City. 


In 2018, the Opus 76 Quartet recorded two quartets by living composers David Izzard and Mike Moreland, as well as a quartet by Franz Josef Haydn. They completed a Lenten tour of places of worship in Kansas City, performing Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ.” Opus 76 also collaborated with other arts groups and musicians, having accompanied “The Priests” on tour in the USA as well as the Spire Chamber Ensemble. The Quartet was invited to perform in the 2019 Ad Astra Festival.


The Opus 76 Quartet was formed in 2018 by Keith Stanfield, Zsolt Eder, Ashley Stanfield and Sascha Groschang, while all four were performing together frequently in various orchestras. They are coached by recently retired founding member of the Takács Quartet, Károly Schranz. 


November 2019

The Opus 76 Quartet
The Opus 76 Quartet

Keith Stanfield - Violin

As a member of the Opus 76 Quartet, Keith performs over 40 Quartet concerts a year, and has recently recorded two Quartets by living composers David Izzard and Mike Moreland, as well as a quartet by Franz Josef Haydn. Recordings of quartets by Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, as well as a complete cycle of Beethoven quartets will take place in 2019. 


Outside of the quartet, Keith made recordings of Mozart Violin Concertos 3 & 4 and works by Johan Sebastian Bach for solo violin (available on iTunes). Concerto performances with orchestra for the 2019/20 season include Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” and Beethoven’s violin concerto. Keith has won positions at a number of orchestras. He is currently Concertmaster of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra and Associate Concertmaster of the Saint Joseph Symphony Orchestra. 


Keith also presents a free recital series annually, consisting of 5 performances. This year’s series will feature all 10 of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin & piano. Three additional recitals are scheduled for this season, featuring works by Clara & Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. A recent performance was reviewed in K.C. Arts Beat as “full of romantic passion..played with intensity..conveyed with authority.. [Brahms’s 3rd Sonata was] lovingly played, a sense of nostalgia and heartache convincingly portrayed.. an exciting and convincing performance.” 


Keith is a former soccer player, who represented Western Samoa in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. He played five matches for the country (scoring two goals) before retiring to focus on the violin. He has coached soccer in the UK and the USA. More recently, Keith became a consultant for arts organizations looking to grow their audiences, specializing in online communications. Keith lives in the United States of America in Kansas City, and teaches a small number of students privately.


He started playing the violin with Alison Apley aged 3 and is an alumni of the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Teachers included the late Erik Huston, Remus Azoitei and Christine Grossman.

Zsolt Eder - Violin

Hungarian violinist Zsolt Eder has established himself as a versatile and engaging performer and teacher. A founding member of the Opus 76 Quartet, he is the newly appointed Professor of Violin and Viola at Washburn University and has been Concertmaster of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra since 2011. He is a frequent soloist with the TSO, and was  featured again in 2019 with the Brahms Double Concerto. Zsolt will also make his masterworks series debut with SoNA (Symphony of Northwest Arkansas) in 2019 with Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins. He has been a Sunflower Festival Artist since 2011 and launched a new chamber music series in Topeka called Zsolt Eder and Friends in 2018.


Based in Kansas City, Zsolt maintains a busy schedule of concerts that includes solo, chamber music and orchestral work. In 2017 Zsolt appeared as guest Concertmaster of the National Symphony of Colombia (South America) and was soloist with the Washburn University Orchestra in Arturo Cardelus' Con Aire de Tango. In 2016 he premiered a Violin Concerto by Joseph Kern, written for him and the Midwest Chamber Ensemble, and performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Medical Arts Symphony of Kansas City. Zsolt also has ongoing collaborations with Ensemble Iberica, Spire Chamber Ensemble, the Kansas City Baroque Consortium, jazz group Alaturka, and performs frequently as part of the Kansas City Symphony. 


Zsolt has performed extensively in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Highlights include performing in the first Canadian Ring Cycle (Wagner) with the Canadian Opera Company, at the Beijing Modern Music Festival in China, IMS Prussia Cove in England, and at the International Classical and Folk Music Festival in Kyrgyzstan. He has performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Topeka Symphony, the City of Asuncion Symphony Orchestra (OSCA) in Paraguay, the Parlando Chamber Orchestra (Hungary), the Via Salzburg Chamber Orchestra (Toronto, Canada) and the Midwest Chamber Ensemble (Kansas City). He has appeared live on Hungarian National Radio and ABC Australia. 



Born in Budapest, Hungary, Zsolt spent most of his childhood in Perth, Australia. College studies brought him first to Toronto, Canada, where he studied with Lorand Fenyves. Zsolt then continued with Paul Kantor at the Cleveland Institute of Music, earning his Bachelors and Masters Degrees there. He also studied baroque violin with Jeanne Lamon (Toronto). In Kansas City he studied with Benny Kim and Noah Geller at the UMKC Conservatory. 

In addition to Washburn, Zsolt teaches at the UMKC Academy’s Musical Bridges Program, providing free lessons for kids in Kansas City, Kansas. He is passionate about education and has worked for social projects CityMusic Cleveland and Harmony Project KC. Zsolt is also the creator of the Mozart Project: a research based lecture and performance series to be launched in 2018 that focuses on the violin works of W. A. Mozart. He graduated with a Doctoral Degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 2018

Ashley Stanfield - Viola

A former and founding member of the Hampden String Quartet, with whom she won the Sir john Barbirolli Prize for Chamber Music at the Royal Academy of Music, Ashley Stanfield is a founding member and violist of the Opus 76 Quartet. 


Ashley performs regularly with the Kansas City and Des Moines Symphonies. She also serves as Principal Violist of the Kinnor Philharmonic and plays in the Saint Joseph Symphony. She has appeared as a guest artist with the Bach Aria Soloists, Spire Ensemble and the KC Baroque Consortium. In 2019, Ashley will appear as a soloist with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, playing Mozart's "Sinfonia Concertante". 


Outside of classical music, Ashley has enjoyed performing with several rock/pop bands including Michael Buble, Belle and Sebastian, Hanson and Johnny Mathis.


A native of Kansas City, Ashley Stanfield has been teaching and performing locally for over ten years. She is an Alumni of both the Interlochen and Idyllwild Arts Academies and holds a Bachelors Degree in Viola performance as well as a Teaching Licentiate from the Royal Academy of Music, London, where she was a student of London Symphony Orchestra Principal Violist, Paul Silverthorne. Other teachers include  Miami String Quartet violist, Scott Lee and Christine Grossman, former Principal Violist of the Kansas City Symphony.


As a part of her studies at the Academy, Ashley also worked with many prominent conductors including Trevor Pinnock, Leif Segerstam, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Tadaaki Otaka, and Sir Colin Davis, with whom she recorded Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and Beethoven's Symphony No.9. With the U.K. based Hampden String Quartet, she performed regularly at the Oxford Proms and the Prom's at St. Jude's concert series. 


Ashley enjoys teaching and has extensive  experience at the beginner through to collegiate level. She currently teaches group violin (elementary level) in the Kansas City Missouri School district via the KC Harmony Project program and formerly served as a teaching artist on the faculty at Drake University. Many of her private students are members of the Kansas City Youth Symphony and the Kansas All-State and District Orchestras. She lives in Prairie village with her husband and son and their faithful Labrador, Miley. 

Sascha Groschang - Cello

Sascha Groschang is an active recitalist and chamber musician, having performed across the United States and Asia. She has appeared at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall numerous times, and gave her solo debut recital at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 2009. She has shared the stage with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Michael Bublé, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban, Sarah Mclachlan and has extensive recording experience, including sessions for NBC, Atlantic and Rhino Records.  As a freelance musician in and around Kansas City, Sascha is an avid performer and composer of new music, improv, non-classical styles and baroque cello. She frequently collaborates with groups such as the KC Chorale, Spire Chamber Ensemble, the New Theatre, Owen/Cox Dance Group, the Coterie Theatre, Quixotic Fusion, and Bach Aria Soloists. She is co-founder, co-composer and cellist of the string duo, “The Wires” which explores unorthodox styles through original compositions.

 

Sascha is currently principal cellist of the Saint Joseph Symphony, a core member of NewEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and is excited to bring the string quartet repertoire to Kansas City audiences as a member of the Opus 76 Quartet.  She has formerly been on faculty at Missouri Western State University as instructor of cello and member of the faculty piano trio. She holds performance degrees from the UMKC Conservatory and Mannes College of Music in New York City, with further studies in chamber music at The Juilliard School and traditional styles from the Folk Alliance International Workshops.  She lives in Hyde Park with her husband, two young daughters and two fluffy Persian cats.