Entering its second decade of world-class performances in central Minnesota, the Lakes Area

Music Festival will introduce the winner of its first String Quartet Fellowship in upcoming Minnesota concerts.

The festival will continue its 2018-19 Winter Series by introducing the inaugural fellowship ensemble, the Altius Quartet, with a recital at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa. The recital is open to the public. No tickets are required, but donations to the festival are encouraged in lieu of ticket fees.

In addition to the recital, during the ensemble's visit, the musicians will make several classroom visits in central Minnesota public schools and do three jail performances. The quartet also will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Woman's Club of Minneapolis, where the festival performs as Artists in Residence.

The Altius Quartet will present a program of works by Franz Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann.

The festival's Fellowship Program competition resulted in the selection of the Altius Quartet of Boulder, Colo. The ensemble was chosen from an international pool of applicants and will spend the summer in Minnesota for intensive rehearsal and stateside performances.

Altius Quartet is known for furthering the art of chamber music through performance, education and outreach. Deriving their name from the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius-Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger-Altius strives to communicate art to a more diverse audience through community engagement and innovative repertoire, a news release stated.

Hailed as rich and captivating by the renowned music blog, "I Care If You Listen," the Altius Quartet is garnering an international reputation and enrapturing the hearts of audiences through their charisma and dynamism. Altius also received critical praise for musicianship and versatility on both albums: "Dress Code" and "Shostakovich String Quartets 7, 8, & 9."

Altius was awarded prizes at many internationally respected competitions including: the Schoenfeld International String Competition, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Coltman Chamber Music Competition and the Plowman Chamber Music Competition. The quartet has an active performance schedule, including engagements at music festivals, series and universities throughout the United States.

Formed in 2011 at Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts, Altius is currently based in the Denver/Boulder metroplex where they are in the position of Fellowship String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder. During their tenure at CU-Boulder, they were mentored by the world renowned Takács Quartet. The Altius Quartet maintains an active performance schedule with engagements at music festivals, series and universities throughout the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Chamber Music Cincinnati, the Aspen Music Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and the Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival, in addition to serving as the inaugural string quartet fellows at the Lakes Area Music Festival.

Altius Quartet often performs concerts and teaches master classes in public schools and alternative performing venues, including jazz clubs, bars and homeless shelters.

Each summer, the Lakes Area Music Festival brings more than 180 all-star artists from top orchestras and opera companies around the world to perform three weeks of classical music performances in the Brainerd lakes area. From chamber music and symphonic orchestra, to productions of opera and ballet and drawing thousands of attendees each year, the festival has become one of the most significant summertime destinations for classical music in the Midwest, the news release stated. For more information about the festival, visit www.lakesareamusic.org.