The VEM String Quartet, the graduate string quartet-in- residence at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, is the cornerstone of the recently created Armenian Music Program at UCLA, which, thanks to generous donor support and the assistance of the Lark Music Society, endeavors to raise awareness and celebrate the richness and diversity of Armenian musical tradition. As part of their studies, members of the quartet strive to cultivate an appreciation and passion for Armenian music throughout the community through musical performances, music education, outreach services, and a series of collaborations with composers to create new works dedicated to and enriching Armenian cultural heritage. The VEM Quartet, coached by the members of the UCLA string faculty, has also worked with such musicians as David Starobin, Nickolas Kitchen, Kim Kashkashian, Seth Knopp, and Tigran Mansurian. The quartet has performed at various venues in Los Angeles including Zipper Hall, Bing Theater, Schoenberg Hall, the Hammer Museum, as well as in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at the Incontri in Terra di Sierra Festival in Tuscany, Italy, in July 2014. In his review of their performance in Italy, critic Laurence Vittes writes, “The evening’s most memorable music was made by the VEM Quartet…who laid out Eduard Mirzoyan’s String Quartet with a feline, subtle grace that touched hearts with its gentle melodic content and long-lined eloquence.” Together with VEM Ensemble member mezzo-soprano Danielle Segen, the VEM Quartet has recently performed with great acclaim in Yerevan, Armenia.