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. Since winning the top prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2001, the Daedalus Quartet has impressed critics and listeners alike with 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 Huck Hodge's The Topography of Desire, commissioned by the Fromm Foundation; David Horne’s Flight from the Labyrinth, commissioned for the Quartet by the Caramoor Festival; Lawrence Dillon’s String Quartet No. 4, commissioned by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts; and Fred Lerdahl’s Third String Quartet, commissioned by Chamber Music America, as well as Lerdahl's Chaconne, commissioned by New Music USA.
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, Ricardo Morales, and Alexander Fiterstein; jazz bassist John Patitucci; 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 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' recording, for Bridge Records, features the string quartets of George Perle, and has been described as "disc with some unforgettable contemporary chamber music" (Classical Lost and Found), and the Strad Magazine praised the quartet's "exemplary intonation and balance." In the spring of 2014, the Daedalus Quartet recorded Joan Tower's "White Water" (written for Daedalus) as well as her "Dumbarton Quintet" (with pianist Blair McMillen). The 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.
Among the highlights of the Daedalus Quartet’s 2016-17 season were the sold-out performance of Black Angels at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia; the premiere of Fred Lerdahl's Chaconne in celebration of the Quartet's 15th anniversary; and a presentation of the group's Kreutzer program, centered on Leo Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata and the writings of Sofia Tolstoy, for the Schubert Club in St. Paul, MN, with actress Linda Kelsey. The 2017-18 season promises to be an exciting one, and will include a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania to present the complete Beethoven String Quartets; a performance of Mendelssohn's Octet with the Brentano Quartet, to mark the series finale concert for Newtown Friends of Chamber Music in Connecticut; two tours of the West Coast, including an engagement with the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, CA; a 21-concert tour of Germany in the spring of 2018; and the world premiere of a new work by Vivian Fung for clarinet and string quartet, with clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois, at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
The award-winning members of the Daedalus Quartet hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Cleveland Institute, and Harvard University.