The Birmingham-based Arrhythmia Quartet was founded in 2010, at the initiative of Daniel Szasz, Concertmaster of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. All members of the quartet are natives of Romania and Moldova, graduates of Music Conservatories from Bucharest, Cluj and Kishinev, and now reside in Alabama and Tennessee. The ensemble's mission is to promote both standard classical and more unusual repertoire. One of the quartet's latest major project was a collaboration with Latin Grammy award winner bandoneonist Raul Jaurena on a CD recording of tangos, that was released in 2016 on Soundbrush Records. During the years, the quartet performed at festivals and on concert tours in Europe and U.S.
The members of the quartet are also very involved in supporting Music4Romania, a non-profit organization that helps children in schools and orphanages in Romania while promoting Romanian and American music around the world. Arrhythmia also proudly offers educational concerts tailored specifically for schools and youth organizations, as well as recitals, masterclasses and other events. Please contact us for bookings and more information.
Daniel Szasz, violin 1
Active as a concert soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist, Daniel Szasz has been the concertmaster of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since 1997. A versatile musician, interested in performing both standard and less familiar repertoire, Mr. Szasz has been consistently praised for his “expressive, rich and warm sound” as well as for his “strong, confident, and assertive playing.” His performances have been described as “breathtaking” and “exquisite” and have generated great enthusiasm among his audiences and in the press.
Born in Romania, in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu, Mr. Szasz began playing the violin at age six under the supervision of his father, a former principal trumpet player with the Sibiu State Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of eight he played his first solo recital, and at thirteen he performed his first concerto with a professional orchestra. His teachers in Romania included Mihai Wunderlich, Victoria Nicolae, and his mentor, violinist Andras Agoston. While a student at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj, at only nineteen, Mr. Szasz landed a position with one of the top orchestras in Romania, the Cluj State Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he toured Europe extensively, recorded, and performed as a soloist on many occasions. Following studies with Alberto Lysy at the prestigious International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland, Szasz moved to the U.S. and continued his violin studies with Vasile Beluska, Yair Kless, Gerald Jarvis, and Patrick Rafferty. He also studied chamber music with members of the Franz Schubert Quartet, Audubon Quartet, and Fine Arts Quartet.
Mr. Szasz has won numerous awards in national competitions in Romania as well as international competitions in Italy and the U.S., including the “Public Prize” at the prestigious Vittorio Gui International Chamber Music Competition in Florence, Italy, playing with his wife, pianist Alina Voicu. Over the years, Mr. Szasz participated in several music festivals, including the Graz Music Festival in Austria; the Sopron Music Festival in Hungary; and the Blossom, Chautauqua, and New Hampshire Music Festivals in the U.S. In the summer of 2006, Mr. Szasz won the position of concertmaster for the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, an annual summer music festival orchestra in Lake Placid, New York. Some of Mr. Szasz's most notable collaborations over the years included solo appearances and chamber concerts with violinists Jaime Laredo, Andras Agoston; pianist Yakov Kasman; cellist Alban Gerhardt; mandolinist Chris Thile, and bandoneonist Raul Jaurena.
In 2004, in collaboration with the Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Szasz initiated the establishment of the “Romanian-American Music Days” in Sibiu, Romania, an annual summer music festival that promotes American music and supports active professional interactions between Romanian and American musicians. Since 2011, Mr. Szasz has also become extremely involved with Music4Romania (www.music4romania.org), a non-profit organization aimed to help orphanages and schools in Romania while promoting Romanian music and culture in the U.S. and internationally.
Mr. Szasz performs on a rare 1755 Italian violin crafted by Bartolomeo Calvarolla.
Serghei Tanas, violin 2
Violinist Serghei Tanas was born in Kishinev, Moldova, where he started his violin studies at the age of seven. In 1985, Mr. Tanas continued his studies at the State Conservatory in Kishinev, under the guidance of Nicolai Opritza. In 1986, he won a position with the Kishinev Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, and in 1992 he became the concertmaster of the orchestra. Mr. Tanas also performed as soloist with the Kishinev Chamber Orchestra and toured with them throughout Europe, Israel, and the U.S. In 1996, Mr. Tanas became a member of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, in La Coruna, Spain, and then moved to the U.S. where he freelanced in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. During this time, he studied violin with Dmitry Levin, a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Since 1998, Mr. Tanas lives in Birmingham, Alabama and is a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
Simona Rusu, viola
Simona Rusu, a Romanian-born violist, started her musical training at the age of eight, first playing the violin, then later switching to viola. While a student at the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Conservatory in Cluj, Romania, she won a position with the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra in Cluj. After graduating from the Conservatory in 1991, Mrs. Rusu joined the National Radio-Television Chamber Orchestra and the Athenaeum Chamber Orchestra in Bucharest, touring extensively throughout Europe. In 1994, Mrs. Rusu moved to the U.S. to continue her viola studies with Hong-Mei Xiao, at Bowling Green State University, in Ohio. After receiving her Master Degree from BGSU, she continued her Doctorate studies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. While a doctoral student, in 1997, she won a position with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2005, Mrs. Rusu moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she now lives with her husband Radu and their daughter Alexandra. Mrs. Rusu performs as a freelancer with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra as well as with other orchestras in the area. She also records frequently with the Nashville String Machine.
Ariana Arcu, cello
Ariana Arcu began her cello studies at the age of seven in Cluj, Romania. Mrs. Arcu studied at the “George Enescu” Music Conservatory in Bucharest, Romania and earned her Master and Doctoral degrees in the U.S., from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Mrs. Arcu has appeared in numerous solo and chamber music recitals and was featured several times as a soloist with orchestras in Romania and the U.S. In 2000, she was invited to be a guest-recording artist on The Scorpions’ album Acoustica and toured with them in South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and throughout Europe. Currently, Mrs. Arcu holds the assistant principal cello position with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the faculty at the University of North Alabama, Alabama A&M, and Oakwood University.