Internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost quartets, the American String Quartet celebrates its 39th season in 2014–2015. Critics and colleagues hold the Quartet in high esteem and many of today’s leading artists and composers seek out the Quartet for collaborations.
The Quartet is also known for its performances of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Schubert, Schoenberg, Bartók, and Mozart. The Quartet’s recordings of the complete Mozart string quartets on a matched set of Stradivarius instruments are widely held to set the standard for this repertoire.
To celebrate its 35th anniversary, the Quartet recorded an ambitious CD, Schubert’s Echo, released by NSS Music. The program invites the listener to appreciate the influence of Schubert on two masterworks of early 20th-century Vienna. In addition to quartets by European masters, the American naturally performs quartets by American composers.
The American also champions contemporary music. The Quartet has commissioned and premiered works by distinguished American composers Claus Adam, Richard Danielpour, Kenneth Fuchs, Tobias Picker, and George Tsontakis. The Quartet has recorded on the Albany, CRI, MusicMasters, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch, and RCA labels. The Quartet’s discography includes works by Adam, Corigliano, Danielpour, Dvořák, Fuchs, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, and Tsontakis.
The Quartet’s innovative programming and creative approach to education has resulted in notable residencies throughout the country. The Quartet continues as quartet in residence at the Manhattan School of Music (1984–present) and the Aspen Music Festival (1974–present). The ASQ also teaches in Beijing, China, and travels widely abroad.
Formed in 1974 when its original members were students at The Juilliard School, the American String Quartet was launched by winning both the Coleman Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in the same year.