Beo String Quartet “Music and Tea”



Beo String Quartet
represented by Great Lakes Performance Artist Associates

Jason Neukom, Violin
Aviva Hakanoglu, Violin
Sean Neukom, Viola
Ryan Ash, Cello


String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13
Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847)

I. Adagio – Allegro vivace
II. Adagio non lento
III. Intermezzo. Allegretto con moto – Allegro di molto
IV. Presto – Adagio non lento



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Jason Neukom, violin

Jason Neukom is a founding member and violinist of the Beo String Quartet and has dedicated the majority of his career to chamber music both in performance and in education. An avid supporter of new music, he has given over one hundred chamber music world premieres and considers it very important to perform the music of today.

Jason’s passion for chamber music began while studying with the Ying Quartet at Dakota Chamber Music, a festival where he is now faculty. Prior to forming Beo, Jason was the first violinist of the Freya String Quartet from 2009-2015.

For Jason, music is a family affair, as he grew up playing music with both parents and his brother, Sean Neukom. Whether it was playing as a family string quartet for social functions or reading through one of his father’s recent compositions in the living room, music has always been a daily activity that was a major part in forming strong bonds to both his family and to sharing music. This has carried into Jason’s professional life, as he frequently performs the music of both Richard and Sean Neukom. Some of Jason’s proudest musical moments include recording an encore-style album of string quartet works with Freya written for him by both Richard and Sean Neukom (called ‘Snapshots’), and recording violin parts for two of Sean Neukom’s visionary albums (‘The Ghost and Mr. Able’ and ‘Dead Reckoning’).

Jason studied at Minot State University, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, under the guidance of Dr. Jon Rumney, Piotr Milewski, and Professor Cyrus Forough, respectively. He has been awarded fellowships to programs such as the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute, the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy, the Britten Pears Festival Orchestra in England, and has held teaching positions and assistantships at programs such as the Cincinnati Starling Project and the New York Summer Music Festival. As a soloist, he has made several appearances with orchestra.

Mr. Neukom currently resides in Pittsburgh and serves as a concertmaster for Pittsburgh Festival Opera, as associate concertmaster of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, regularly performs with the West Virginia Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony, and has also performed with the Vancouver Symphony and Sarasota Orchestra. In addition to his frequent concerts, Jason maintains an active violin studio and enjoys working on media projects for Beo.

Sean Neukom, viola

Composer and instrumentalist Sean Neukom began his violin studies at the age of three at joint lessons with his brother, Jason. These lessons, taught by their father, laid the foundation for an intense love, respect, and appreciation for music and for making music as brothers. This love of music took Sean to Minot State University where he received a Bachelor in Music degree, under Dr. Jon Rumney. While at MSU Sean’s musical curiosity lead to the start of compositions in the form of exercises. Following Minot, Sean went on to the Cleveland Institute of Music to earn a Master of Music degree in violin performance under the violin division head at the time, David Updegraff.

Sean’s mainstay as a performer is as the violist, and as a founding member, of Beo String Quartet. Prior to Beo String Quartet, Sean played violin in the Milhaud Trio for three years. (In 2007 the Milhaud Trio gave one of the few American performances of Darius Milhaud’s only piano trio with the composer’s wife in attendance.) Additionally, Sean studied the inner workings of chamber music extensively with members of the Ying Quartet and with Peter Salaff of the Cleveland Quartet. When not performing with Beo String Quartet, Sean is the principal 2nd violin with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Leading up to the winning of this post, Sean played violin in many top ensembles including the Nashville Symphony and the New Zealand based Southern Sinfonia.

As a composer, Sean’s works cover a wide range of styles. His concert works have been commissioned by organizations such as the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Charlotte-based Fresh Ink new music series, the innovative multi-media music and dance group Cadence Collective out of Milwaukee, and most recently by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO). The DPO commissioned Sean to write a violin concerto for their illustrious concertmaster, Jessica Hung Calligan, and will be premiering the work in May 2018. Sean’s pop-art works are self produced and are approached through the same creative means as his concert works, but with the goal of reaching ears both in and out of a concert hall. Such albums include The Ghost & Mr. Able, Dead Reckoning, and a yet to be named new album currently being composed. Beo String Quartet, being joined by two other stunning musicians, will be starting to perform these albums live in 2017 under the name of “The Beo Plug-In”.

An awareness of the changing ways in which music is consumed and produced in the 21st century has lead Sean to really consider how music groups and organizations are managed. His first step into such waters was with the organization named Symbiotic Collusion that ran from 2011 to 2014. This group was run as a for-profit outfit and with the notion that by having products and services to sell one could finance their own artistic projects. Elements of this have been brought to Beo String Quartet but with the necessary tweaks all endeavors require. Sean believes that music is one of the most enriching elements for humankind and that the modern musician needs to know how to market and illicit a call to action just as well as play their instrument. This combination of an intense love for chamber music, a desire to connect different audiences through like music, and a practiced sense of entrepreneurship through music has shaped Sean’s early and developing career.

Ryan Ash, cello

Ryan Ash, cellist, began his musical studies on the piano at the age of six. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying cello with Brandon Vamos (of the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet) and piano with Dr. Yu-Chi Tai, and his Master of Music degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University with Dr. Tanya Carey, former president of the SAA and with whom he continues long-term teacher training every summer. Ryan has also taken teacher training with Dr. Louis Bergonzi and Dr. Karen Hendricks (cello), Caroline Fraser (piano), and Melanie Ron (early childhood music). He has performed in masterclasses for Steven Doane, Richard Aaron, David Halen, Amit Peled, John Sharp, Wendy Warner, the Arianna, Biava, and Shanghai String Quartets, and has spent summers studying at the Meadowmount School, Innsbrook Institute, Madeline Island Music Camp, Britt Festival, and the Astona International Festival in Leysin, Switzerland.

Before relocating to Pittsburgh, Ryan performed frequently as a member of the Sinfonia da Camera, the Champaign-Urbana, Eastern Illinois, and Decatur Symphony Orchestras, and the Lyria Piano Trio. His performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Trio for Two Cellos and Piano was also featured on Chicago’s classical radio station 98.7 WFMT. Ryan has since performed recitals of solo and chamber music on the Holy Trinity Concert Series, OvreArts, Music on the Edge, Living Room Chamber Music Project, and appeared with Ripieno Pittsburgh as well as the Westmoreland, Butler County, Huntington, and Ohio Valley symphonies. He maintains a teaching studio at the Center for Young Musicians.

Aviva Hakanoglu, violin

Violinist Aviva Hakanoglu was born and raised in New York City, and joined the Beo String Quartet in 2019. Previously, Aviva was a member of the Steinem Quartet, which was selected for the inaugural class of the Emerson String Quartet Institute at Stony Brook University. While living in Long Island, Aviva was the assistant director of the Three Village Chamber Players, a community-based chamber music collective that provided free concerts around the area. Aviva remains committed to curating meaningful performance experiences at a variety of venues.

With Beo, Aviva holds artist faculty positions at Dakota Chamber Music and the Charlotte New Music Festival. She is also a violinist with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and has held positions with the Owensboro and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestras. She has attended festivals such as the Bowdoin Music Festival, Heifetz Institute, and Chautauqua Music Festival. A passionate chamber musician, Aviva has collaborated and performed with renowned artists such as Atar Arad, Peter Stumpf, Lawrence Dutton, and Paul Watkins.

Aviva received her Master’s degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music studying with Simin Ganatra, first violinist of the Pacifica String Quartet. While at IU, she was a participant of the Pacifica Quartet Intensive Seminar, and also studied pedagogy with Mimi Zweig, director of the Indiana University String Academy.

Aviva earned her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Music from Harvard University. She holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Jennifer Frautschi, Philip Setzer, and Arnaud Sussmann.


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