Skip to content

Del Sol String Quartet

Del Sol String Quartet

Hailed by Gramophone as “masters of all musical things they survey” and two-time top winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the Del Sol String Quartet is a leading force in 21st century chamber music.

Founded at Banff Centre for the Arts in 1992 and based in San Francisco, the ensemble enjoys a unique vantage point. From its West Coast perch, Del Sol’s performances explore narratives and cultures that represent the depth and range of human experience around the world, reflecting the stories and sounds of the Pacific Rim as vibrantly as those heard in European concert halls or East Coast art spaces.

Del Sol’s collaborative performance projects and chamber music programs, which have become highly anticipated happenings in the Bay Area and beyond, embrace this panoramic and emotionally rich worldview. Del Sol has breached the wall between pit and stage in STRINGWRECK, its cheeky collaboration with critically acclaimed choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton; explored the intimate impact of AIDS in composer Ricky Ian Gordon’s deeply moving, autobiographical chamber opera GREEN SNEAKERS with baritone Jesse Blumberg; and immersed the audience in a four-dimensional soundscape created with composer and video artist Chris Jonas in GARDEN. Whether diving deeply into a single work or transcending the limits of genre, Del Sol’s carefully crafted chamber music programs engage audiences fully in the concert experience.

Many of these works are included in Del Sol’s eclectic discography — seven full-length albums that reflect the ensemble’s fascination with the intersection of place and culture. The New York Times praised Del Sol’s most recent recording, Sculthorpe Complete String Quartets with Didjeridu on GRAMMY Award-winning label Sono Luminus, as “a hypnotic sound world well worth exploring.” The Strad described the Quartet’s performance on this album as “thoroughly committed, passionate”; “entirely attuned to Sculthorpe’s rich, lyrical sound world.” Other Del Sol recordings have illuminated the string quartets of George Antheil, Marc Blitzstein (First Life) and Robert Erickson; featured composers from the Pacific Rim (Ring of Fire); reveled in musical languages from Peru, Turkey, Spain, Iran and Uzbekistan (Zia); and created a vibrant dialogue between 20th century masters and young composers from the Americas (Tear).

The Quartet has performed at prestigious venues around the world, including the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Museum and National Gallery of Art in Washington DC; Symphony Space in New York City; Other Minds Festival of New Music in San Francisco; Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Santa Cruz, CA; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston; Santa Fe Opera in NM; Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY; Candlelight Concerts, Columbia, MD; University of Vermont Lane Series in Burlington, VT; Davos and Hirzenberg Music Festivals in Switzerland; and the Chengdu Festival of Contemporary Music in China.

With its deep commitment to education, Del Sol has reached thousands of K-12 students through inventive school performances, workshops, coaching and residencies. The Quartet members also have worked closely with student composers, musicians and faculty artists at universities across the country, including Dartmouth, MIT, Brandeis, Northeastern, University of New Mexico, University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz, the Peabody Institute, the Manhattan School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music."