Fairmount String Quartet – Fairmount Strings

Leah (Kyoungwoon) Kim was born in Busan, South Korea where she served as the Associate Concertmaster for the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra. In Philadelphia, she has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, the Opera Company of Philadelphia Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Elysian Camerata and Trio Excelsior. She is a founding member of the La Croix Quartet, Tononi Quartet, Sori Duo and Caritas Trio.

She has served on the faculty at Temple University, West Chester University, Valley Forge Christian College, West Catholic High School, Settlement Music School and Peabody Conservatory Prep and as the Director of Music for the Rebecca Davis Dance Company.

Currently, Leah is the Director of Music at Villa Maria Academy High School, on faculty at Eastern University and is the Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra, Pennsylvania Petit Ensemble and Vivace Competition and Chamberstrings Music Camp.

Leah studied Performance and Pedagogy at Juilliard, Peabody Conservatory, the National Conservatory in France and has begun her Doctorate in Music and Arts at Temple University.

Cellist Mimi Morris-Kim, loves playing chamber music on modern cello as well as continuo on Baroque cello. She has a doctorate in cello performance from the University of Michigan where she met her husband, harpsichordist and medical physicist, Leonard Kim and where she played with Fairmount String Quartet violinist Rachel Segal as a member of the University of Michigan Graduate String Quartet. Mimi performed as a member of the Ann Arbor Symphony for seven years.  She performs frequently with the Riverside Symphony and as a substitute with many groups throughout the Delaware Valley. Mimi has three children, two of whom are among her twenty five cello students. Mimi is on the faculty of Princeton String Academy and has extensive training in the Suzuki method of cello instruction.

Violinist Rachel Segal has enjoyed an exciting and varied career both at home and abroad. Her career highlights include more than a decade as a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, as well as posts in Europe with the Tampere Filharmonia in Finland and as interim Concertmaster of the Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa in Lisbon, Portugal. She served as Concertmaster of the Central City Opera for twelve seasons and began her career as Concertmaster of the South Bend Symphony. Rachel performs frequently as a core member of the Fairmount String Quartet and with PostClassical Ensemble in Washington, D.C. She is a regular substitute violinist with the Philly Pops, the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Academy of Vocal Arts, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Having begun her violin studies at age three in the Suzuki Method, Rachel grew up participating in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, The New York String Orchestra Seminar, Temple University Center for Gifted Young Musicians, and the Settlement School. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Michigan in the studio of Paul Kantor and her Master of Music degree from The Yale School of Music in the studio of Sidney Harth. Other teachers include Jerome Wigler and Barbara Govatos of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Her intense love of music and its ability to transform people has inspired Rachel’s educational work. She has held faculty positions at Regis University, Community College of Aurora, and Luzerne Music Center. The Primavera Fund, her largest project to date, disrupts inequity in classical music through mentoring and financially sustaining the musical ambitions of young, talented Philadelphians. As Associate Director of The Philadelphia Young Musicians Orchestra and conductor of the Penn Youth Advanced String ensemble, she shares her experience with young musicians in a direct teaching atmosphere every week.

Rachel is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Yale School of Music and lives in Philadelphia with her two beagles.

Beth Dzwil, violist, founder, and director of Fairmount Strings is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, where she studied with long time principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Joseph dePasquale. She is a former member of the Elysian Camerata, with whom she has recorded one album, and she has performed with the Delaware Symphony, the Classical Symphony, the Ocean City Pops, and Orchestra 2001. She has served as principal violist of the Pottstown Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with the St. John’s Festival Orchestra, the Pottstown Symphony Orchestra, the Fairmount Chamber Ensemble, and the Buxmont Chamber Orchestra. In 1995, she was the subject of a Philadelphia Inquirer feature article.

In addition to her classical work, Beth has studied jazz techniques with the Turtle Island String Quartet and has performed internationally and recorded six critically acclaimed jazz albums with the Tyrone Brown String Sextet.  It is her work with this group that earned her the status of voting member in the Grammy organization.

Through her teaching, Beth feels it is important to cultivate a love of music and to continue the musical legacy that has been passed down to her through many generations of master violinists and violists. She has been teaching violin and viola and coaching chamber music for over 30 years. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, she teaches at Community College of Philadelphia and Germantown Friends School.

Kind Words

Friday evening’s performance…by the members of the Fairmount String Quartet was splendid…the playing was expert to the point of perfection.

Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local

From more classical music to fun contemporary songs, Fairmount Strings knocked it out of the park.

Alison F., bride

We are so grateful that Fairmount Strings made our wedding day vision come to life. 

Jocelyn G., bride

The quartet was magnificent and so very professional. One guest said the setting and the quartet made the ceremony storybook!

Joanne F., Bride

Last night the audience told you so well what I am trying to put into words now. Thank you for an unbelievably beautiful concert!

Alice Nugent, Candlelight Concerts at Laurel Hill

The beautiful sound of your music will stay with me always. It was simply stunning and made our day feel like a fairy tale.

Julie & Tom B., Bride and Groom

Adding to their laurels — professionalism, intuition and timeliness, we look forward to many future musical endeavors with the Fairmount Chamber Ensemble.

Kevin O’Malia, Director of Music, First United Methodist Church of Germantown

I made a point of standing off to the side in the back of the church to listen. It was….well….perfection.

Chris C., Mother of the Bride

It is such a privilege to work with musicians of their caliber who are so genuinely committed to supporting the growth and development of our students.

Stephen Kushner, Director of Choral Music, Germantown Friends School

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your beautiful performance, which helped to make the vision and dream I had for my daughter’s wedding day come true.

Jeanne B., Mother of the Bride

They are wonderful musicians, easy to work with, and deliver performances of consistently high quality.

Clair Rozier, Director of Music, St. David’s Episcopal Church

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