The Stories of the Amenda Quartet Musicians

David Brickman took up the violin as a boy after falling in love with Nathan Milstein’s recording of the Mendelssohn Concerto.  (Little did he know that it would be a decade before he would be ready take a stab at it.)  After training at The Eastman School of Music and Indiana University, he began his orchestral career, though solo and chamber music were always dearest to his heart.  David and his wife, Patricia Sunwoo, have founded two companies: (which features their own recordings of pedagogical violin repertoire from “Twinkle” through Vivaldi and Handel) and Bodymind Float Center, a brick-and-mortar health spa offering sensory deprivation tanks, a salt room, and natural products for health and wellness.  David loves to cook, to improvise on the violin and piano, and to run and bike.  He lives in Rochester with Patricia and their daughters Claire, 19, and Lillian, 8.  

Violinist Patricia Sunwoo hails from Vancouver, BC and started music lessons at the age of five purely for social reasons: all of her friends were doing it. This initial motivation has led naturally to a lifetime of seeking out friends to play chamber music with. While studying at Juilliard, she toured with new music group Sequitur and the Naumburg-award winning Whitman String Quartet. After leaving New York City, she participated in a lot of merry chamber music-making as a faculty member of the State University of Binghamton and member of the Bard Festival Quartet. She now lives in the beautiful Highland Park neighborhood with husband David Brickman. When not playing with her Amenda Quartet friends, she's juggling her other roles: owner of Bodymind Float Center, member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Social Coordinator for eight-year-old Lillian. 


Violist Melissa Matson has played chamber music as long as she can remember - starting as a child playing recorders with her family in northern California; continuing with five years as a founding member of the Chester Quartet formed at Eastman (with performances, recordings, winning competitions, and teaching); adding "big chamber music" as principal violist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; and now exploring the Beethoven quartets with the Amenda Quartet. Her experiences as a middle child prepared her well for thriving as a middle voice in chamber music - lessons in give-and-take towards inspired interpretations. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys creating artisan hand-dyed fabrics and one-of-a-kind garments (visit and is artistic director of First Muse Chamber Music (

Cellist Mimi Hwang began playing the cello at age eight. Though conflicted between the practice room and playing football with her cousins, a roller-skating injury (and a stern lecture from her cello teacher) precipitated a focus on the cello and chamber music (there's no "I" in quartet). She is a founding member of the Franciscan String Quartet (winners of the 1986 Banff International String Quartet Competition) and the Cello Divas. When she's not teaching at Eastman or Nazareth College, she can still be found at the batting cages or serving on the Board of Trustees of the Hochstein School or Chamber Music America. Every June she makes Putney VT her home, as Co-Artistic Director of Yellow Barn's Young Artists Program, and lives the rest of the year in Brighton with her daughters, Emma, 20 and Celia, 17.