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Daedalus Quartet

Photo by: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Min-Young Kim and Matilda Kaul, violins
Jessica Thompson, viola
Thomas Kraines, cello

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; 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' most recent 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.

The Daedalus Quartet’s 18/19 season was busy and exciting, and included an encore performance of the Mendelssohn Octet with the Brentano Quartet at Da Camera Houston; a residency at the University of California at Davis, where the group premiered a new work by Guggenheim Fellowship-winning composer, Laurie San Martin; a centennial celebration of composer George Rochberg as part of the Daedalus Quartet’s residency at the University of Pennsylvania, where the group played his monumental Third Quartet; a special valedictory concert for long-time collaborator, composer Fred Lerdahl at Weill Recital Hall in New York City; series debuts with Berkeley Chamber Performances in California, as well as with Emerald City Music in Seattle; a return to Howland Chamber Music Circle for a special collaboration with harpist Bridget Kibbey; and a 10th anniversary celebration for Quogue Chamber Music, which featured a performance of Brahms Serenade No. 1 in collaboration with the Dorian Wind Quintet. The 19/20 season brings more excitement, starting with a performance at Rhode Island Chamber Music Concerts, a performance of George Crumb’s Black Angels in Philadelphia as part of a celebration of the composer’s 90th birthday, and a residency with the University of Iowa’s esteemed string program; Daedalus will present its “Music from Exile” program at Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City; later in the season the group will bring an exciting lineup of 2 different programs and 3 concerts to Chamber Music Tulsa; another performance of the Mendelssohn Octet with the Brentano Quartet at the Reading (PA) Friends of Chamber Music; and a series of concerts based on the theme of migration, as part of its residency at the University of Pennsylvania, including music of Vijay Iyer, Tania León, Tan Dun, Sofia Gubaidulina, Osvaldo Golijov, and premieres of works by Gabriel Bolaños, Ania Vu, Nansi Carroll, and Kinan Abou-afach.

The award-winning members of the Daedalus Quartet hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Cleveland Institute, and Harvard University.