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The University of Missouri-St. Louis Department of Music is extremely proud and fortunate to have the Arianna Quartet, a world-renowned professional string quartet, on our permanent faculty. UMSL is the only university in the state of Missouri with a first-class professional string quartet in residence. The quartet maintains an extremely busy schedule, performing and teaching both in this country and abroad. In addition, all four members serve as a full-time faculty professors of their respective instruments.
Hailed for their outstanding musicianship, the Arianna String Quartet has firmly established itself as one of America's finest chamber ensembles. Their performances have been praised for “tonal warmth, fastidious balance…expressive vitality” (Chicago Tribune) and “emotional commitment and fluent virtuosity,” (Pretoria News, South Africa). Formed in 1992, the ASQ garnered national attention by winning the Grand Prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, First Prize in both the Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions, and were Laureates in the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition.
The Arianna Quartet has appeared throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia, with frequent visits to Brazil and South Africa. They have collaborated with many of the world’s finest musicians, including members of the Vermeer, Tokyo, Cleveland and Juilliard Quartets, and their live performances have been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” and “Live from Music Mountain”, which broadcasts to 125 stations in the U.S. and to 35 countries. The ASQ has recorded for Albany Records and Urtext Digital Classics, and has a long-term contract with Centaur Records. Their most recent release of the two string quartets of Janácek, which has already received critical acclaim, is now available. (“These performances of the Arianna String Quartet demonstrate how technical excellence, in alliance with imagination and the human heart, can come to create something truly transcendent.” – Fanfare Magazine)
The Arianna String Quartet is dedicated to the musical development of their students. The size of our program allows for ample personalized instruction and a dynamic, supportive community. Private lessons, chamber music, orchestra and studio classes are available to all violinists, violists, and cellists at the university. The varied teaching styles of each member of the quartet allows for an expansive approach to the string program as every student works with each member of the quartet in some way.
The Arianna String Quartet's outreach programs encompass a wide variety of subjects. Topics include interdisciplinary programs linking music with traditional academic areas of study, as well as ideas helpful to appreciating or performing classical music.
The universality of music can be shown through links to social studies, history, mathematics, science, languages, creativity, and teamwork. By pulling apart the tapestry of a musical composition and analyzing the various musical, historical, and creative elements, the ASQ is able to give students insights into a more effective use of their own creative and analytical resources. These presentations are effective for all age levels, and the quartet shapes each presentation to suit the needs of the teacher, curriculum, or audience. The ASQ has implemented its unique interdisciplinary curriculum at every academic level, from kindergarten through high school, as well as at the collegiate level.
The Arianna String Quartet's presentations to young musicians help students achieve a higher standard immediately by demonstrating the value of using their imaginations more creatively and effectively. We also show how relating the music they are playing to their other studies and their life experience will achieve a more meaningful performance.
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