The DaPonte String quartet consists of violinists Lydia Ford and Ferdinand "Dino" Liva, violist Kirsten Monke, and cellist Myles Jordan. The quartet has been together for 30 years, and while it's had other configurations of players, these four musicians have been performing for over 10 years.
In May, the Friends of the DaPonte String Quartet, a nonprofit that was established to organize the group's affairs and finances, sent a letter to the quartet musicians informing them that their paid salaries were terminated.
The Friends of the DaPonte String Quartet's board said they were aiming to transform their nonprofit into a larger organization, which would offer a broader and more diverse range of music performed by a wider pool of musicians. Furthermore, the board filed the necessary paperwork to change the organization's name to "Chamber Music Maine."
The musicians were shocked by this news and support from the community started pouring in. Two attorneys, Eva Frank and Claire Robinson, stepped in to represent the quartet at no cost.
With the help of the lawyers, this week, the quartet announced that they have resolved their differences with the former board, Friends of the DaPonte String Quartet, and created a new non-profit.
"The new non-profit organization that sponsors their concerts and educational activities will now be known as the DaPonte String Quartet Foundation (the “Foundation”)," the statement reads. "The Foundation will be led by a new Board of Directors and Administrator, Ferdinand “Dino” Liva, musician and co-founder of the DaPonte String Quartet.
"We have rehired the musicians and are creating a new and stronger foundation. Our central goal is to enable the DaPonte String Quartet to continue its 30 year tradition of providing educational opportunities to musicians of all ages and bringing extraordinary chamber music performances to audiences in Maine and beyond."
The quartet has a summer full of concerts lined up, which you can view here.
Unfortunately, the original dispute resulted in the cancelation of multiple Spring concerts, so the quartet is lacking in funds. They are therefore asking audiences to make a donation to help them regain their financial footing.
You can make a tax deductible donation directly through the website, www.dapontequartet.org.