Background

Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the GRAMMY® nominated Dover Quartet has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.

The Dover Quartet’s 2022–23 season includes collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Joseph Conyers, and Haochen Zhang. The group tours Europe twice, including a return to London’s renowned Wigmore Hall and a debut performance in Copenhagen. The quartet recently premiered Steven Mackey’s theatrical-musical work Memoir, alongside arx duo and actor-narrator Natalie Christa. Other recent and upcoming artist collaborations include Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnaton, Ray Chen, the Escher String Quartet, Bridget Kibbey, Anthony McGill, the Pavel Haas Quartet,Roomful of Teeth, the late Peter Serkin, and Davóne Tines.

In addition to Memoir, the Dover Quartet’s active 2021–22 season included world premiere performances of Marc Neikrug’s Piano Quintet No. 2 with Haochen Zhang, Chris Rogerson’s Dream Sequence with Anne-Marie McDermott, and Mason Bates’s Suite for String Quartet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dover Quartet presented more than 25 virtual concerts, recorded and produced at the Curtis Institute of Music. The virtual concerts were presented to audiences across the globe, including the quartet’s first-ever tour to Latin America, which was conducted virtually.

Cedille Records releases the third and final volume of the quartet’s recording of the Beethoven Complete String Quartets in October 2022. Strad described the highly acclaimed recordings as “meticulously balanced, technically clean-as-a-whistle and intonationally immaculate.”. Their recording of Encores was also released in 2021 on the Brooklyn Classical label. The quartet’s GRAMMY® nominated recording of The Schumann Quartets was released by Azica Records in 2019. Cedille Records released the Dover Quartet’s Voices of Defiance: 1943, 1944, 1945 in October 2017; and an all-Mozart debut recording in the 2016–17 season, featuring the late Michael Tree, violist of the Guarneri Quartet. Voices of Defiance, which explores works written during World War II by Viktor Ullman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Simon Laks, was lauded upon its release as “undoubtedly one of the most compelling discs released this year” (Wall Street Journal). 

The Dover Quartet draws from the lineage of the distinguished Guarneri, Cleveland, and Vermeer quartets. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where they were mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley. It was at Curtis that the Dover Quartet formed, and its name pays tribute to Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.

The Dover Quartet's Bienen School residency is made possible by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

Visit Dover Quartet's website

News

Galvin Cello Quartet advances in Victor Elmaleh Competition

February 25, 2022

Winter Chamber Music Festival celebrates 25th season with five award-winning ensembles

November 17, 2021

Galvin Cello Quartet wins silver in 2021 Fischoff Competition

May 16, 2021

Bienen faculty, alumni among 2021 Grammy nominees

November 30, 2020

Tackling chamber music’s ‘naughty bits’ in the time of COVID-19

April 22, 2020

Dover Quartet’s Bienen School residency continues in the 2018-19 season

October 8, 2018

Cheney Foundation Supports Dover Residency and Much More

May 1, 2017

Dover Quartet Awarded Avery Fisher Career Grant

March 16, 2017

Dover Quartet opens second season as quartet-in-residence

October 20, 2016

Bienen string quartet to appear on WFMT June 17

June 16, 2016

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