Mendelssohn Quartet

The Mendelssohn String Quartet established a reputation as one of the most imaginative, vital and exciting quartets of its generation. After more than 30 years of music making, the group performed its final concerts in the 2009-10 Season.

For nine years the Mendelssohn was Blodgett Artists in Residence at Harvard University, and the quartet performed at such distinguished venues as Carnegie Hall in New York City, Washington DC's Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, and the Tonhalle in Zurich. The resident quartet of the Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival and formerly resident quartet of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Mendelssohn Quartet performed at the Caramoor Festival, the Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, France, and made frequent appearances at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival as well as the Ravinia, Aspen, and Saratoga Music Festivals. They were the first American ensemble invited to appear at the International Dialogues Festival in Kiev, Ukraine.

In the summer of 2005 the quartet returned to the Ravinia Festival, and in 05-06 their performances included a return to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society with guest artists Kim Kashkashian and Timothy Eddy in a program of twentieth century masterworks entitled "A Little Night Music." They also returned to Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall for a special all-Mozart program with pianist Robert Levin, and New York's Metropolitan Museum for a performance with pianist Jonathan Biss.

In the 2004-05 season the Mendelssohn String Quartet performed at Dartmouth College with actress Rosemary Harris in a concert of Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Huxley. Other performances included U.S. cities including Washington, DC, Boston, Buffalo, Syracuse, San Antonio, and the Caramoor Festival The quartet also performed with violist Robert Mann, pianist Jonathan Biss, and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein.

The Mendelssohn String Quartet's projects included a 2-CD release on the BIS label of the Mendelssohn Viola Quintets (with Robert Mann, viola), and of composers associated with Harvard University featuring works by Mario Davidovsky, Bernard Rands, Walter Piston, Leon Kirchner, and Earl Kim (with Lucy Shelton, soprano). Other recordings by the Quartet include the Quartets Op. 26 and Op. 70 with the Divertimenti Op. 37 by Ernst Toch for Laurel Records, Tobias Picker's New Memories for String Quartet for Nonesuch, and the music of George Antheil and George Gershwin for Music Masters Classics. Additional recordings on the Music Masters label include the Mozart and Weber Clarinet Quintets (with Charles Neidich, clarinet), and the first quartet of Arnold Schoenberg.

Other distinguished guests who have appeared with the Mendelssohn String Quartet include pianists Claude Frank, Ursula Oppens, Peter Serkin, and Menahem Pressler; sopranos Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Lucy Shelton; violinists Jaime Laredo and violist Scott Nickrenz; cellist David Soyer; and clarinetists Richard Stoltzman and Charles Neidich.