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Joseph Fisch and Joyce AxelrodJoseph Fisch and Joyce Axelrod are long time supporters of students and faculty in the SDSU School of Music and Dance. Their contributions have supported award winning pianists, three resident string quartets, and most recently orchestral instrument scholarships that provide significant financial support to talented string and woodwind instrumentalists, and faculty support.

The impact of their generosity cannot be overstated and their influence on the young artists whom they have helped support will resonate for many years to come. We are profoundly grateful for their gifts.


The Hyperion Quartet was the first quartet sponsored under the Fisch/Axelrod residency program, in residence at SDSU from 2005-07. The Strad Magazine has praised the ensemble for their “uncommonly high level of homogeneity and confidence.”  While at SDSU the quartet won the bronze medal at the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. They are on faculty at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, Quartet-in-Resident with the Empire State Youth Orchestra Chamber Music program and named the Flonzaley Quartet in Residence at the Sembrich Opera Museum in Bolton Landing, NY. “Our experience in the SDSU quartet residency was instrumental in the development of our career. It offered us training and experience in the in the increasingly important business aspect of today’s classical music marketplace.” (Jonathan and Amanda Brin - Hyperion String Quartet). Violist Travis Maril, Hyperion quartet member during their residency, decided to remain in San Diego and is now teaching at SDSU where he teaches viola, string methods, coordinates the string area and recently inaugurated the String Academy through SDSU’s Community Music School.


The Cecilia Quartet held the Fisch/Axelrod residency from 2007-2009 and has attained international acclaim following their 2010 First Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition. Based in Toronto, Canada, the ensemble continues to win praise for their artistry. “The balance between expressiveness and interplay was almost dauntingly perfect,” wrote the Berliner Zeitung after a performance in the Konzerthaus Berlin. Their experiences at SDSU, where they presented significant outreach presentations on behalf of the School of Music and Dance and the La Jolla Music Society, combined with the practical business skills they developed while at SDSU have contributed to ongoing success as a thriving quartet. “Our two years as String Quartet in Residence have been invaluable to us. Being here has definitely made us stronger as an ensemble. We will always remember fondly all the amazing people who have supported us.” (Sarah Nematallah, Cecilia String Quartet.)


Joyce Axelrod created a documentary entitled “Applauding the Cecilias” which won an award from the North American Movie Makers Awards, an organization restricted to amateur filmmakers in the US and Canada. The video chronicled how members of the Cecilia String Quartet persevered in the competitive world of music performance. Over a 3-month period, Axelrod took footage of the quartet preparing for concerts, at performances, daily practice sessions, and at her home over dinner. “They really opened up and we were able to see them as vulnerable, beautiful talented young women and peek into their relationship with each other.”


The Hausmann Quartet held the Fisch/Axelrod residency from 2010-12 and its members now reside in San Diego where they have established themselves as a leading performing ensemble exploring connections between art, literature, music and the performance of chamber music in venues ranging from traditional concert halls to local neighborhood gathering places. The ensemble has linked with area professional organizations including Mainly Mozart and ArtPower. Seeking to make chamber music a meaningful experience across all age groups, they have embarked upon building a thriving chamber music program “The Hausmann Chamber Music Program” sponsored under the auspices of SDSU’s Community Music School. The Hausmann Quartet has joined the School of Music and Dance faculty, where they are Artists in Residence, teaching chamber music classes and providing artistic and educational outreach on behalf of the School of Music and Dance.


Fisch stated: “Joyce and I feel that helping the School of Music and Dance has been a two-way street. We have the fun of making friends with members of the string quartets, enjoy our relationship with the faculty and staff and take part at the school in various events and celebrations. Donating has created an important addition to our lives.”



Members of the trio have studied with artists Natalia Gutman, Terry King, Barry Snyder, Patricia Zander, Victor Rosenbaum, Patinka Kopec, Irina Muresanu and Laura Bossert. As one of the finest emerging young chamber ensembles, Neave has worked with distinguished artists including Pinchas Zukerman, Joseph Kalichstein, James Buswell, Donald McInness, Donald Weilerstein, Vivian Weilerstein, Robert Mann, Carol Rodland, Charles Castleman, Terry King, Seth Knopp, Oleg Krysa and Peter Serkin, as well as members of the Borromeo, Ying, Beethoven, American and Emerson Quartets.