|Lui Chong Berz (Lei Lei)
Lui Chong Berz is a native of Xi'an, China. As a young teen, Lui won acceptance in to the rigorous Hong Kong Conservatory of Music. Lui journeyed to the United States to receive her Master of Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Presently she is a cellist with the Virginia Symphony. With many solo performances in her repertoire, Lui has also enjoyed many years of teaching strings privately and in the schools. She is the former head of Norfolk Collegiate School's Middle and Upper School Strings Program and currently plays with The Harbor String Quartet. She is the creator of the successful "Notes From The Far East" Chinese cultural presentation reaching over 4500 kids each year through schools and libraries. Lui enjoys gardening and plays Chinese instruments when she is away from her cello.
Allegra Tortolano Havens enjoys an array of performing opportunities across the country. She has been a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Virginia Opera for over 20 years. In 1998 she founded the Harbor String Quartet, a professionally active chamber ensemble. She serves as concertmaster for the new Lyric Opera of Virginia as well as Virginia Musical Theater productions. Allegra is first call violinist for national touring Broadway shows including The Lion King, Chicago and The Color Purple. Past work experience also includes Glimmerglass Opera, Ash Lawn Opera and New Mexico Symphony. She is currently on national tour with Windborne Music’s production of Music of Led Zeppelin and Music of the Who where she is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform classic rock on electric violin. Allegra studied in Boston at Boston University (undergraduate) and the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (graduate degree). She currently lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, daughter and Golden Retriever, Jake.
Gretchen Loyola grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and began playing the violin at age four at the Indiana University Suzuki violin program. She later went on to study with Herbert Greenberg, concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony, at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. She earned a BS in Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma. In 2001, Gretchen joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and played with the orchestra for three years. In 2004 she left the symphony to pursue a career in medicine. Gretchen was accepted to Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia and graduated with a Masters of Science in the Physician Assistant Program in the spring of 2008. She has since practiced in the field of adult Cardiology.
Gretchen continues to play the violin and being a member of the Harbor String Quartet is a special treat. It allows her to be involved with music, which is a great joy to her and enables her to share that joy with others.
In her free time Gretchen enjoys exercising, baking and spending time with her family and friends. Gretchen is married to Benito Loyola, a Captain in the Navy and CEO of the engineering firm Loyola Enterprises. They are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters.
Anastasia, or Stacey, as her friends call her is originally from New York. She received her Bachelor's degree from The Juilliard School and her Master's degree from Rice University, Shepherd School of Music. Stacey has played viola with the Virginia Symphony and many other area arts organizations since 1990. She also teaches violin and viola at the Governor's School for the Arts, Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and maintains a private lesson studio. Prior to coming to VA, Stacey played with the Houston Ballet Orchestra and Sinfonica D'ell Emigliz Romagne; Parma, Italy. Stacey lives in Norfolk with her daughter and her neurotic whippet. In her spare time she is an avid knitter. Stacey loves being a member of the Harbor Quartet and is the group's music librarian.