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The Juilliard String Quartet

Biography

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With unparalleled artistry and enduring vigor, the Juilliard String Quartet (JSQ) continues to inspire audiences around the world. Founded in 1946 and hailed by The Boston Globe as “the most important American quartet in history,” the ensemble draws on a deep and vital engagement to the classics, while embracing the mission of championing new works, a vibrant combination of the familiar and the daring. Each performance of the Juilliard String Quartet is a unique experience, bringing together the four members’ profound understanding, total commitment, and unceasing curiosity in sharing the wonders of the string quartet literature.

In 2022-23, the Juilliard String Quartet welcomes violist Molly Carr. Their season begins with a multi-city European tour, including stops in Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic, followed by the premiere of two string quartets by celebrated German composer Jörg Widmann, composed to be performed alongside late quartets by Beethoven. The JSQ also tours with violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performing Chausson Concert for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, culminating in a concert at Carnegie Hall. Spring highlights include the premiere at the Kennedy Center of Tyson Davis’s String Quartet No. 2, commissioned by the Kennedy Center, the DaCamera Society of Houston, and Chamber Music Cincinnati, as well as concerts in Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, and Napa Valley, and a return tour to Austria and Germany.

Adding to its celebrated discography, an album of works by Beethoven, Bartók, and Dvořák was released by Sony Classical in April 2021 to critical acclaim. Additionally, Sony Masterworks released a JSQ catalog release (The Early Juilliard Recordings) in June 2021. In the fall of 2018, the JSQ released an album on Sony featuring the world premiere recording of Mario Davidovsky’s Fragments (2016), together with Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 95 and Bartók’s Quartet No. 1. Additionally, Sony Classical’s 2014 reissue of the Juilliard Quartet’s landmark recordings of the first four Elliott Carter String Quartets along with the 2013 recording of Carter’s fifth quartet traces a remarkable period in the evolution of both the composer and the ensemble. The quartet’s recordings of the Bartók and Schoenberg Quartets, as well as those of Debussy, Ravel and Beethoven, have won Grammy Awards, and in 2011 the JSQ became the first classical music ensemble to receive a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Devoted master teachers, the members of the Juilliard String Quartet offer classes and open rehearsals when on tour. The JSQ is String Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School and its members – Areta Zhulla, Ronald Copes, Molly Carr, and Astrid Schween – are all sought-after teachers on the string and chamber music faculties. Each May, they host the five-day internationally recognized Juilliard String Quartet Seminar. Ms. Molly Carr is honored to be the recipient of an instrument loan from an anonymous donor through the Tarisio Trust, performing on the late Michael Tree’s viola, a Domenico Busan dated c. 1750.

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Example Programs

  • Program I “Extra Inspirations”, 23/24

    • Janacek: String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata"
    • OR Beethoven: String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135
    • :Intermission:
    • Tyson Davis: String Quartet No. 2 "Amorphous Figures" (2022) *commissioned for the JSQ
    • Schubert: String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D 887
  • Program II The “Cavatina”, 23/24

    • Beethoven: String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 with published finale
    • Jörg Widmann: String Quartet No. 8 (Beethoven-Study III) *commissioned for the JSQ
    • :Intermission:
    • Jörg Widmann: Cavatina - String Quartet No. 10 (Beethoven-Study V) *commissioned for the JSQ
    • Beethoven: Grosse Fugue, Op. 133
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Essential Links

Program Offerings 2022-2024 Official Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

Press Quotes

“Whether playing Beethoven, Schubert, Bartok or Carter, the Juilliard Quartet remains unsurpassed in bringing attention to details and expressive devices.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The Juilliard String Quartet, in its more than 50 years, has made it a point of honor to approach contemporary pieces with the same care and respect as it would established classics, and to approach antique masterworks with the sense of excitement and adventure it would the newly minted.”

The New York Times

“Each of the four has a notably beautiful tone, a sound that sings out but also blends. They show a shared understanding of the music they play; every bow stroke adds to its meaning and its integrity.”

Chicago Tribune
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