Del Sol String Quartet
About Del Sol
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Leading force advancing the classical music tradition Winner, First Prize for Adventurous Programming (Mixed Repertory), January 2006, Chamber Music America/ASCAP
The Del Sol String Quartet, a dynamic, San Francisco-based ensemble "steeped in bravery and imagination" is recognized for its ability to showcase living composers in relevant, responsive and deeply passionate performances. Del Sol commissions and introduces new work from prominent and emerging composers, collaborates with other musicians across cultures and genres, and presents a Bay Area season concert series.
Del Sol also appears on programs presented by other organizations, including Other Minds, San Francisco Performances, Montalvo Arts Center and Santa Fe New Music/Santa Fe Opera.
Del Sol's 2005 CD, the definitive first recording of The Complete Works for String Quartet by American composer George Antheil, garnered international attention.
The quartet's 2002 CD Tear won highest accolades from critics, praising Del Sol's "passionate virtuosity" and calling their performance "emotionally riveting," "immediately engrossing and consuming," and "first rate."
Collaborations with Composers Worldwide
In March 2006 Del Sol's groundbreaking performance with hip-hop inspired composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain of his complete string quartets was featured nationally on the CBS Evening News. During the spring of 2006 the quartet also partnered with composers Duo Huang, Kui Dong and Melody of China, the Bay Area's internationally acclaimed traditional Chinese music ensemble, to perform new works written for the combination of Chinese instruments and string quartet. In their previous season Del Sol collaborated with Hyo-Shin Na and five other contemporary women composers from Korea, premiering their work in Seoul and San Francisco.
During the 2006-2007 season Del Sol extends its worldwide reach in collaborations with composers Reza Vali (Iran/US), Jack Body (New Zealand), Peter Sculthorpe (Australia), Per Nørgård (Denmark), and Maja Ratjke (Norway). The quartet also premieres works by Tania León (Cuba/US) and Chinary Ung (Cambodia/US).
A Commitment to Outreach
For more than a decade, quartet members have lectured and performed by invitation at schools and other community venues, playing at least 300 concerts for more than 30,000 audience members to date. Recent lecture and performance residencies include:
- the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (2007)
- Northeastern University (2007)
- California State University at Hayward (annually, sponsored by the Chamber Musicians of Northern California)
- Walden School in New Hampshire (2006)
- Lake Tahoe Festival Academy (2006)
Del Sol's self-produced, semiannual QuartetFest is a nationally recognized model for intensive coaching of young string players in chamber music collaboration and performance. Strings magazine has featured Del Sol's outreach activities, praising the quartet's ability to bring music appreciation into the classroom.
How They Began
Introduced in 1992, the quartet began in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, followed by a residency at San Francisco State University in association with the Alexander String Quartet. Other appointments have included:
- the 2003 Emerging Quartets and Composers Residency with the Muir String Quartet and Joan Tower in Park City, Utah
- Hot Springs Music Festival in Arkansas (2004-05)
- Quartet-in-Residence at University of New Mexico
The Del Sol String Quartet is grateful for the generous funding received from the Del Sol Performing Arts Organization, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.