Photo: Justin Lee
“These performances [JANACEK STRING QUARTETS, Centaur Records] of the Arianna String Quartet demonstrate how technical excellence, in alliance with imagination and the human heart, can come to create something truly transcendent.”
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…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, and Asia, with frequent visits to Brazil and 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 has a long-term contract with Centaur Records. In addition to their critically acclaimed recording of the two string quartets of Janácek, the ASQ has also recently released recordings of Beethoven’s Early and Middle Quartets.
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 teach applied 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 called “First Mondays with the ASQ”, and maintaining a national and international presence as educators and performers.
Now in their 27th season, highlights for 2018-19 include appearances in Mexico at the Festival Internacional de Musica Naolinco, as well as returns to the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival and Credo Music Festival, the completion of their recordings of the complete quartets of Beethoven for Centaur Records, and concerts throughout the United States. The ASQ also looks forward to the continuation of their two summer festivals in St. Louis, the Arianna Chamber Music Festival and the UMSL String Orchestra Camp.
BEETHOVEN MIDDLE STRING QUARTETS (Centaur Records)
“I can’t stop listening to these performances. They thrill me, enthrall me, and arouse emotional responses in me of an intensity that can’t be described. I am prepared to state and defend my belief that these may just be the greatest performances of Beethoven’s middle quartets in recorded history.” – Fanfare Magazine