Daedalus Quartet

Daedalus Quartet

Praised by The New Yorker as “a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets,” the Daedalus Quartet has established itself as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. Since winning the top prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2001, the Daedalus Quartet has impressed critics and listeners alike with the security, technical finish, interpretive unity, and sheer gusto of its performances. The New York Times has praised the Daedalus Quartet’s “insightful and vibrant” Haydn, the “impressive intensity” of their Beethoven, their “luminous” Berg, and the “riveting focus” of their Dutilleux. The Washington Post in turn has acclaimed their performance of Mendelssohn for its “rockets of blistering virtuosity,” while the Houston Chronicle has described the “silvery beauty” of their Schubert and the “magic that hushed the audience” when they played Ravel, the Boston Globe the “finesse and fury” of their Shostakovich, the Toronto Globe and Mail the “thrilling revelation” of their Hindemith, and the Cincinnati Enquirer the “tremendous emotional power” of their Brahms.

Since its founding the Daedalus Quartet has performed in many of the world’s leading musical venues; in the United States and Canada these include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center (Great Performers series), the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Boston’s Gardner Museum, as well as on major series in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. Abroad the ensemble has been heard in such famed locations as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, and in leading venues in Japan.

The Daedalus Quartet has won plaudits for its adventurous exploration of contemporary music, most notably the compositions of Elliott Carter, George Perle, György Kurtág and György Ligeti. Among the works the ensemble has premiered are Huck Hodge's The Topography of Desire, commissioned by the Fromm Foundation; David Horne’s Flight from the Labyrinth, commissioned for the Quartet by the Caramoor Festival; Lawrence Dillon’s String Quartet No. 4, commissioned by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts; and Fred Lerdahl’s Third String Quartet, commissioned by Chamber Music America, as well as Lerdahl's Chaconne, commissioned by New Music USA.

The Quartet has also collaborated with some of the world’s finest instrumentalists: these include pianists Marc-André Hamelin, Simone Dinnerstein, Awadagin Pratt, Joyce Yang, Soyeon Kate Lee, and Benjamin Hochman; clarinetists Paquito D’Rivera, Ricardo Morales, Romie deGuise-Langlois, and Alexander Fiterstein; jazz bassist John Patitucci; and violists Roger Tapping, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, and Donald Weilerstein.

To date the Quartet has forged associations with some of America’s leading classical music and educational institutions: Carnegie Hall, through its European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) Rising Stars program; and Lincoln Center, which appointed the Daedalus Quartet as the Chamber Music Society Two (now the Bowers Program) quartet for 2005-07. The Daedalus Quartet has served as Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania since 2006. In 2007, the Quartet was awarded Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award. The Quartet won Chamber Music America’s Guarneri String Quartet Award, which funded a three-year residency in Suffolk County, Long Island from 2007-2010.

Recently, the Daedalus Quartet recorded Fred Lerdahl's Chaconne, which will be released by Bridge Records as part of a disc of Lerdahl's collected works, and Vivian Fung's Frenetic Memories (with clarinetist Romie deGuise-Langlois), written for the group. The quartet’s debut recording, music of Stravinsky, Sibelius, and Ravel, was released by Bridge Records in 2006, and was praised by Strad Magazine for the quartet's "exemplary intonation and balance." It has been followed by numerous recordings including the music of Joan Tower, Lawrence Dillon, Ursula Mamlok, Kai-Young Chan, and Brian Buch.

In the 21/22 season, Daedalus made a welcome return to the live stage, performing music of Vijay Iyer,  Amy Beach, James Primosch, and the premiere of work by Kinan Abou-afach. In April 2022, the quartet performed Fred Lerdahl's groundbreaking cycle of quartets at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City, and in the summer of 2022 returned to the Mt. Desert Island Festival of Chamber Music and the Music Mountain Summer Festival. Last season, Daedalus also recorded music written for them by composers Laurie San Martin, Debra Kaye, and Nathan Courtright. In the coming seasons, the Quartet will present a multi-disciplinary investigation of the music of Bartok at the University of Pennsylvania, featuring each of the six quartets contextualized in various ways.

The members of the Daedalus Quartet hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Cleveland Institute, and Harvard University.