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.
In the thirteen years of its existence the Daedalus Quartet has received plaudits from critics and listeners alike for 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 David Horne's Flight from the Labyrinth, commissioned for the Quartet by the Caramoor Festival; Fred Lerdahl's Third String Quartet, commissioned by Chamber Music America; and Lawrence Dillon's String Quartet No. 4, commissioned by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts. In 2013, the Fromm Foundation awarded a commission to the Daedalus Quartet and composer Huck Hodge; the quartet will premiere Hodge's new work, based on the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, Carl Jung, and the contemporary Buddhist poet Ko Un, in the 2015/16 season.
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 been Columbia University's Quartet-in-Residence since 2005, and 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.
Among the highlights of the Daedalus Quartet's 2013-14 season were an appearance at the San Miguel Chamber Music Festival, a weeklong residency at the University of Iowa on the music of composers exiled by the Nazi regime, and the premiere of a new arrangement of Benjamin Britten's song cycle "Winter Words" with the tenor Rufus Muller.
The award-winning members of the Daedalus Quartet hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Cleveland Institute, and Harvard University.
Violinist Min-Young Kim is a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet. She has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and has also collaborated in festivals and performances with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, Cleveland, Takács and Vermeer Quartets. An advocate for music of our time, Ms. Kim enjoys working closely with composers and has premiered and performed many new works. In early music, she has performed and recorded on the baroque violin with Apollo's Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra and New York Collegium. A graduate of Harvard University and the Juilliard School, Ms. Kim teaches violin and chamber music at the University of Pennsylvania, and was formerly on the faculty of Columbia University and the School for Strings in New York. Her major teachers include Donald Weilerstein, Robert Mann and Shirley Givens.
Violist Jessica Thompson is a passionate chamber musician who has performed at the Marlboro, Portland (Maine), and Verbier (Switzerland) Music Festivals. She has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and performs frequently with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. Before joining the Daedalus Quartet, Ms. Thompson was a member of the Chester String Quartet, the resident ensemble at Indiana University South Bend, where she served as Associate Professor of Viola. She currently teaches viola at Princeton and Columbia Universities. Ms. Thompson has appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra and has given recitals in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C. She performed at the "Wall-to-Wall Bach" event at Symphony Space in New York in 2008 and at the International Viola Congress in Minneapolis in 2004. Educated at the Curtis Institute of Music, her principal teachers have been Karen Tuttle, Korey Konkol, and Alice Preves.
Cellist Thomas Kraines has forged a multifaceted career, equally comfortable with avant-garde improvisation, new music, and traditional chamber music and solo repertoire. Mr. Kraines has been heard with ensembles such as Music from Copland House, Concertante, Mistral, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), and the Network for New Music, and at festivals including the Bravo! Vail, Bard, the Sebago/Long Lakes, and Moab. An accomplished composer of chamber music, his works have been performed across the country by artists such as pianists Awadagin Pratt and Wayman Chin, violinists Corey Cerovsek and Jennifer Frautschi, and sopranos Maria Jette and Ilana Davidson. His free-improvisation duo Dithyramb, with percussionist Cameron Britt, has performed and taught as guests of the Longy School of Music, the University of Florida at Gainesville, and the Jubilus Festival. Mr. Kraines has taught at the Peabody Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, the Killington Music Festival, Yellow Barn, and the Walden School, and is currently on the faculty of Temple University. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, violinist Juliette Kang, and their two daughters, Rosalie and Clarissa.
Canadian violinist Matilda Kaul is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Upon completion of her studies, she joined the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, with whom she has appeared in the great halls and festivals of the world (Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Cité de la Musique and Salle Pleyel, Lucerne KKL, Proms, Edinburgh Festival) with some of the most respected conductors of our time (Haitink, Harnoncourt, Nézet-Séguin, Jurowski). Ms. Kaul has been a frequent guest concertmaster and principal in orchestras around Europe (Zürich Tonhalle, BBC Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Kammer Akademie Potsdam), and maintains a strong interest in historical performance practice, having been heard in recording and on stage with John Eliot Gardiner's Orchestre Romantique et Revolutionnaire and English Baroque Soloists, Philippe Herreweghe's Orchestre des Champs Elysées, and Emmanuel Krivine's Chambre Philharmonique. Ms. Kaul has performed as chamber musician on both sides of the Atlantic, at festivals such as Ravinia, Norfolk, Charlottesville, Prussia Cove (U.K.), La Loingtaine (France), Oulosalo (Finland), East Neuk (Scotland), and Alfred Brendel's Music at Plush (U.K.)
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