The Lawson Ensemble was formed in 2015 as a result of group members’ desire to consistently perform chamber music with a level of excellence and commitment and to share this with the Jacksonville and regional community. Founding members are violinist Aurica Duca, violinist/violist Clinton Dewing and cellist Nick Curry. The group is in residence at the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville, Florida and performs regularly in Jacksonville and around the region. In the summer of 2016, the group joined the San Marco Chamber Music Society (SMCMS) and in the summer of 2018 toured and played concerts in England and Germany. The group also recorded for Albany Records.
Aurica and Clinton are husband and wife and are both full-time members of the Jacksonville Symphony. Nick is the Associate Professor of Cello at UNF, where he teaches. His wife, Cara Tasher, is the Director of Choral Activities at UNF. The trio played together for several years before forming The Lawson Ensemble, but a generous donation to the UNF music department allowed them to form and invite other gifted musicians to play with them for select programs. Nick, Clinton and Aurica believe in the enduring power of chamber music, the necessity for all music students to have a chamber experience, and the need for audiences to feel the immediacy, intimacy and beauty of the best chamber works.
Clinton Dewing received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School as a student of Joel Smirnoff. His summer festivals credits include the Spoleto Festival USA and Italy, Festival Mozaic, Pacific Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute and the Tanglewood Music Center. He has performed with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Clinton is currently a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s violin section since 2006.
A native of the Republic of Moldova, Aurica Duca began the violin at age of seven. She has taken First Prize in the Cornelia Bronzetti violin competition and the International Violin Competition of Brasov. Ms. Duca was the Grand Prize winner at the Paul Constantinescu International Competition in Romania. She was awarded the Mayor’s Scholarship of Chisinau, Moldova and the prestigious scholarship from the Foundation of Beneficence. Ms. Duca has performed in solo engagements with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the National Philharmonic of Chisinau and the National Youth Orchestra in Holland and studied at the A. Casella Conservatory in l’Aquilla, Italy. She has participated in The Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina and she is featured in Festival Mozaic’s chamber music series in San Luis Obispo, California every summer. In 2006 Ms. Duca joined the violin section of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and in the fall of 2015, she was named principal second violin of the orchestra.
Dr. Nick Curry
Dr. Nick Curry is the Associate Professor of Cello and the Assistant Director of the School of Music at the University of North Florida where he also serves as the Director of Music Scholarships. In early 2015, he joined fellow Jacksonville musicians Aurica Duca and Clinton Dewing as founders of the Lawson Ensemble. The Lawson Ensemble collaborated with the San Marco Chamber Music Society and recorded works of Amy Beach and Bill Douglas for Albany Records in 2018, and went on concert tours of England and Germany.
Nick received his BM, cum laude, from Vanderbilt and then served as Hans Jørgen Jensen’s teaching assistant for five years at Northwestern University, earning both his Master and Doctor of Music degrees. He also was the teaching assistant to Professor Jensen at the Meadowmount School of Music for four summers.
Nick has performed in Austria, England, France, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan, Germany and Turkey, and throughout the United States. In April of 2006, he was a soloist on National Public Radio (USA) Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion on the King Amati (ca. 1538) cello.
Dr. Curry is on the faculty at the Aria International Summer Music Academy and was previously visiting faculty at the Meadowmount School of Music for two summers. He is a sought after clinician and adjudicator and has presented at national, regional and state conferences. His research has been published in the ASTA journal many times. At UNF, he was named the Gerson Yessin professor and was awarded an Eisen Experiential Grant. In 2016, he founded the annual Jacksonville Cello Workshop, an educational workshop for cellists of all ages and levels. In 2018, the UNF President honored him with a Presidential Faculty Leader Award.