Praised by The New Yorker as “a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets,” the Daedalus Quartet has established itself as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. In the eleven years of its existence the Daedalus Quartet has received plaudits from critics and listeners alike for the security, technical finish, interpretive unity, and sheer gusto of its performances. The New York Times has praised the Daedalus Quartet’s “insightful and vibrant” Haydn, the “impressive intensity” of their Beethoven, their “luminous” Berg, and the “riveting focus” of their Dutilleux. The Washington Post in turn has acclaimed their performance of Mendelssohn for its “rockets of blistering virtuosity,” while the Houston Chronicle has described the “silvery beauty” of their Schubert and the “magic that hushed the audience” when they played Ravel, the Boston Globe the “finesse and fury” of their Shostakovich, the Toronto Globe and Mail the “thrilling revelation” of their Hindemith, and the Cincinnati Enquirer the “tremendous emotional power” of their Brahms.
Since its founding the Daedalus Quartet has performed in many of the world’s leading musical venues; in the United States and Canada these include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center (Great Performers series), the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Boston’s Gardner Museum, as well as on major series in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. Abroad the ensemble has been heard in such famed locations as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, and in leading venues in Japan.
The Daedalus Quartet has won plaudits for its adventurous exploration of contemporary music, most notably the compositions of Elliott Carter, George Perle, György Kurtág and György Ligeti. Among the works the ensemble has premiered is David Horne’s Flight from the Labyrinth, commissioned for the Quartet by the Caramoor Festival; Fred Lerdahl’s Third String Quartet, commissioned by Chamber Music America; and Lawrence Dillion’s String Quartet No. 4, commissioned by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts. The 2010-2011 season featured the premiere of Richard Wernick’s String Quartet No. 8, commissioned for the Daedalus Quartet by the Bay Shore Schools Arts Education Fund and the Islip Arts Council. Daedalus will premiere a new quartet from Joan Tower, commissioned for them by Chamber Music Monterey Bay, in April 2012. The Quartet has also collaborated with some of the world’s finest instrumentalists: these include pianists Marc-André Hamelin, Simone Dinnerstein, Awadagin Pratt, Joyce Yang, and Benjamin Hochman; clarinetists Paquito D’Rivera, David Shifrin, and Alexander Fiterstein; and violists Roger Tapping and Donald Weilerstein.
To date the Quartet has forged associations with some of America’s leading classical music and educational institutions: Carnegie Hall, through its European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) Rising Stars program; and Lincoln Center, which appointed the Daedalus Quartet as the Chamber Music Society Two quartet for 2005-07. The Daedalus Quartet has been Columbia University’s Quartet-in-Residence since 2005, and has served as Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania since 2006. In 2007, the Quartet was awarded Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award. The Quartet won Chamber Music America’s Guarneri String Quartet Award, which funded a three-year residency in Suffolk County, Long Island from 2007-2010.
The Daedalus Quartet’s debut recording, music of Stravinsky, Sibelius, and Ravel, was released by Bridge Records in 2006. A Bridge recording of the Haydn’s complete “Sun” Quartets, Op. 20, was released on two CDs in July 2010. An album of chamber music by Lawrence Dillon (Fall 2010) and the complete string quartets of Fred Lerdahl (Fall 2011) followed, with a recording of quartets by George Perle planned for release in 2013.
Among the highlights of the Daedalus Quartet’s 2010-2011 season were performances at the Bravo! Vail Festival, the Bard Music Festival, the Mt. Desert Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; Great Performers at Lincoln Center, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Yale Center for British Art, Cornell University, the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, the Asheville Chamber Music Society, the Mobile Chamber Music Society, and the Islip Arts Council.
The award-winning members of the Daedalus Quartet hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Cleveland Institute, and Harvard University