Described by the Chicago Tribune as "an ensemble that invites you-ears, mind, and spirit- into its music", the Avalon String Quartet has established itself as one of the country's leading ensembles. Formed in 1995 at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Quartet came to the fore after participating in Isaac Stern's Chamber Music Workshop at Carnegie Hall in 1997. As a result, Mr. Stern invited the Avalon Quartet to perform in the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Encounters in Jerusalem and presented the ensemble's Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall. The quartet captured the top prize at the ARD Competition in Munich (2000) as well as the First Prize at Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York (1999).

The Quartet has performed in many of the major halls, including Alice Tully Hall in New York, 92nd St Y, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress in Washington DC, Wigmore Hall and Herculessaal in Munich. Other performances include appearances at the Caramoor Music Festival in NY, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, NPR's St Paul Sunday Radio, Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, Isabella Gardner Museum, Barge Music, Dame Myra Hess and the Ravinia Festival.

The quartet is in residence at Northern Illinois University, a position formerly occupied by the distinguished Vermeer Quartet. As a part of their residency, they perform four programs annually in Chicago and DeKalb, and the members teach individual studios and coach chamber music at the school. This follows previous residencies at the Juilliard School and at Indiana University South Bend.

Dedicated educators, the Avalon Quartet has taught at the Interlochen Quartet Institute, Madeline Island Music Camp, Icicle Creek Music Festival, the Britten-Pears School in England and the Juilliard School. The quartet is also dedicated to outreach in various communities, including working with school districts in Los Angeles, Chicago, the Center for Abused Children in Hartford, as well as with the Music for Youth Organization in Connecticut.

The Channel Classics Records released the Avalon Quartet's debut CD, Dawn to Dusk, in 2001. The recording, including the Ravel and the Janacek Second Quartets, was received with much critical acclaim. The Quartet's CD was honored with the 2002 Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Award for best chamber music recording.

The Quartet's live performances and conversation have been featured on Chicago's WFMT-FM, New York's WQXR-FM and WNYC-FM, National Public Radio's Performance Today, Canada's CBC, Australia's ABC, the ARD of Germany and France Musique.
This biography was most recently edited by...
sbarnebey - 6 Jul 2010