Hailed for their outstanding musicianship, the Arianna String Quartet has firmly established itself as one of America’s finest chamber ensembles. Their performances have been praised for “tonal warmth, fastidious balance and expressive vitality” (Chicago Tribune) and “emotional commitment and fluent virtuosity,” (Pretoria News, South Africa). Formed in 1992, the ASQ garnered national attention by winning the Grand Prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, First Prize in both the Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions, and were Laureates in the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition.
The Arianna Quartet has appeared throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and in South Africa. They have collaborated with many of the world’s finest musicians, including members of the Vermeer, Tokyo, Cleveland and Juilliard Quartets, and their live performances have been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” and “Live from Music Mountain”, which broadcasts to 125 stations in the U.S. and to 35 countries. The ASQ has recorded for Albany Records and Urtext Digital Classics, and extensively with Centaur Records. In addition to their critically acclaimed recording of the two string quartets of Janácek, the ASQ has also recently completed their recordings of the Complete String Quartets of Beethoven.
Since 2000, the members of the Arianna String Quartet have been the full-time string faculty at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where they are professors of violin, viola, and cello, and coach student chamber music ensembles. On the UMSL campus, the Arianna Quartet enriches the academic experience of students outside of the Music Department by visiting classes in physics, business, history, philosophy, art, and language to actively demonstrate the interdisciplinary connections between music and these seemingly disparate disciplines. In the community, the ASQ are ambassadors for UMSL, teaching an average of 40 instructional clinics each year at high schools throughout Missouri and surrounding states, presenting a performance and lecture series at KWMU radio called “First Mondays with the ASQ”, and maintaining a national and international presence as educators and performers.
Highlights for 2022-23 have included concerts throughout the United States, returns to Madeline Island Chamber Music (WI), the Music Mountain Concert Series (CT), the Festival of Music in Santa Catarina (Brazil), the Cedar Falls Chamber Music Festival (IA), and performances at the Jazz and Classics Music Festival in Juneau, as well as concerts in Anchorage and Sitka (AK). The Arianna Quartet was also thrilled to once again host their two summer festivals in St. Louis, the UMSL String Orchestra Camp and the Arianna Chamber Music Festival (www.arianncmf.org)
Arianna String Quartet
John McGrosso, violin
Julia Sakharova, violin
Joanna Mendoza, viola
Kurt Baldwin, cello