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Biography
Internationally recognized as one of the world's finest quartets, the American String Quartet recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Highlighting the anniversary was the Quartet’s debut in a new series of recordings on the Arabesque label, including quartets of celebrated composer Richard Danielpour and the launch of the complete Brahms string chamber music featuring a stellar list of collaborative artists. The Quartet was honored to be selected to represent the chamber music field in a series of retrospective concerts celebrating the Naumburg Foundation’s 80th anniversary, performed by previous winners of the Naumburg Award.

In three decades of touring, the American has performed in all fifty states and appeared in virtually every important concert hall throughout the world.  Their presentations of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Schubert, Schoenberg, Bartók, and Mozart have won widespread critical acclaim. The Quartet performs frequently with celebrated guest artists, including clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and famed pianist Menahem Pressler, with whom the American will tour in Europe and South America during the 2008-2009 season.

The American’s innovative approach to concert programming has won them a number of notable residencies in recent years, including "Beethoven the Contemporary" at the University of Michigan, “The Six Mozart Viola Quintets” at the Aspen Music Festival with Guarneri Quartet violist Michael Tree (broadcast live nationally via Chicago superstation WFMT), and a recently concluded four-year cycle entitled “4-5-6…” at Princeton University, where the Quartet performed the complete quintets and sextets of Mozart and Brahms, joined in each concert by renowned guest artists.

Resident quartet at the Aspen Music Festival since 1974 and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York since 1984, the American has also served as resident quartet at the Taos School of Music (1979 to 1998), the Peabody Conservatory, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.  The Quartet's diverse activities have also included numerous international radio and television broadcasts, tours of Asia, and performances with the New York City Ballet, the Montreal Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the summer of 2008 the Quartet returned to Beijing for its fourth residency at the Great Wall International Music Academy.

As champions of new music, the American has given numerous premières, including Richard Danielpour's Quartet No. 4, commissioned by Kansas City Friends of Chamber Music, and Curt Cacioppo's "a distant voice calling," commissioned by Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. In January 2009, the Quartet premièred Tobias Picker’s String Quartet No. 2 in New York City.

Their extensive discography can be heard on the Albany, CRI, MusicMasters, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch and RCA labels. The 1998 MusicMasters “Complete Mozart String Quartets,” performed on a matched quartet set of instruments by Stradivarius, are widely considered to have set the standard for this repertoire. Additionally, the Quartet is popular with national radio audiences and has been featured on Minnesota Public Radio’s St. Paul Sunday Morning, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and live broadcasts on WFMT.

Formed in 1974, when its original members were students at The Juilliard School, the American String Quartet’s career began with the group winning both the Coleman Competition and the Naumburg Award in the same year.  Individually, the members devote additional time outside the quartet’s active performance and teaching schedule to solo appearances, recitals and master classes.

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