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(PC: Martyn Selman)

Alexander String Quartet Announces Final Season

After a 44-year tenure, the quartet will complete its final season in 2025

 

Founded in New York City in 1981, the Alexander String Quartet (ASQ) gained international recognition after winning the 1982 Concert Artists Guild Competition, and becoming the first American quartet to win the Wigmore (then Portsmouth) International String Quartet Competition in 1985. 

After 44 years, the quartet will present their final, celebratory season in Spring 2025. The group currently comprises violinists Zakarias Grafilo and Yuna Lee, violist David Samuel, and founding cellist Sandy Wilson

The ASQ has performed on numerous overseas tours, including the UK, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Greece, the Republic of Georgia, Argentina, Panamá, and the Philippines. 

In 2017, they were featured in the award-winning documentary, Con Moto: The Alexander String Quartet.

Their collaborators across varying genres have included Samuel Carl Adams, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, George Crumb, Joyce DiDonato, Marc- André Hamelin, Lynn Harrell, Jake Heggie, Branford Marsalis, Midori, Tarik O’Regan, Wayne Peterson, David Sánchez, Richard Stoltzman, Augusta Read Thomas, and Joyce Yang. 

ASQ’s founding Foghorn Classics label will continue to operate — and includes the quartet’s extensive recordings, such as the complete string quartet cycles by Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Kodály, and Shostakovich, among others.

The quartet’s discography has also helped to preserve the legacy of a matched set of instruments known as the Ellen M. Egger Quartet, made in San Francisco by the late Francis M. Kuttner.

ASQ’s 2024/25 season highlights include a return to Poland’s Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, and final residencies with San Francisco Performances, Mondavi Center, and St. Lawrence University.

“We look forward to our final season, in which we will be revisiting several festive gatherings with some of our favorite and esteemed musical friends -– both artists and presenters alike,” said Wilson in the press release. “We are fortunate to be able to cherish and share so many happy memories, gathered over more than four decades of collaborative music-making.”

After 2025, all ASQ members will continue to perform and teach — carrying forward the legacy of the quartet in mentoring the next generation of chamber musicians and music lovers. 

The ensemble’s educational work has won them honorary doctoral degrees from St Lawrence University and Allegheny College, and Presidential Medals from Baruch College (CUNY). 

Over the years, they have served as quartet-in-residence with St. Lawrence University, Allegheny College, Baruch College (CUNY), and San Francisco State University, plus presented an educational series with composer Robert Greenberg.

The ASQ has mentored the Afiara Quartet, Del Sol Quartet, Hausmann Quartet, Sausalito Quartet, and the Tower Quartet, plus young musicians who have continued their careers in chamber music, orchestral performance, and teaching.

“The ASQ has had a profound impact on generations of young musicians and ensembles across the US and abroad,” expressed David Samuel, Afiara Quartet’s current and founding violist. “When we [formed] in 2006, it was a direct result of the support, mentorship, and opportunities afforded us by the ASQ which opened the door for us to enjoy such an artistically and professionally rewarding career.”

“I have known the Alexander String Quartet since 1986,” said Greenberg. “They have been performing my music since 1988, and we have shared the stage and performed programs together continuously since 1992,” he continued. “Very simply, personally and professionally, my relationship with the ASQ has been the single highpoint of my musical life. They are a magnificent quartet. But much more, they are — and have always been, individually — magnificent people.”

upcoming events

june 2024

08junAll Day16Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition(All Day) Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre, Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio, 1, 42121 Reggio Emilia RE, Italy Event Type :competitions Event TagsPremio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition,string quartet competitionFOLLOW

17junAll Day22Primrose International Viola Competition(All Day) Colburn School, 200 S Grand AveEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrimrose International Viola Competition,Primrose Viola CompetitionFOLLOW

july 2024

16julAll Day27Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello & Baroque Cello Competition(All Day) Thomaskirche Leipzig, Thomaskirchhof, Thomaskirchhof 18, 04109 Leipzig, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBaroque Cello Competition,Cello Competition,Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello CompetitionFOLLOW

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