Del Sol String Quartet

Biography

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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.

left to right: Benjamin Kreith, Charlton Lee, Kathryn Bates, Rick Shinozaki (photo credit: Matthew Washburn)

Founded in 1992 and based in San Francisco, Del Sol’s collaborative performance projects and chamber music programs explore narratives and cultures from 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. Embracing this panoramic and emotionally rich worldview, Del Sol has:
  • Commissioned and premiered over 100 works from a diverse range of international composers, including Terry Riley, Mason Bates, Gabriela Lena Frank, Chinary Ung, Mohammed Fairouz, Tania León, Ken Ueno, Peter Sculthorpe, Reza Vali, Per Nørgård
  • Recorded nine critically acclaimed, full-length albums that reflect the ensemble’s fascination with the intersection of place and culture.
  • Immersed its audience in multi-media and dramatic performances, including STRINGWRECK (its collaboration with acclaimed choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton), Ricky Ian Gordon’s chamber opera GREEN SNEAKERS with baritone Jesse Blumberg (exploring the intimate impact of AIDS), and GARDEN (a four-dimensional soundscape created with composer and video artist Chris Jonas)

The New York Times praised Del Sol’s 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 “passionate” and “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, New York City; Other Minds Festival of New Music, San Francisco; Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Santa Cruz, CA; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston; Santa Fe Opera; Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY; Candlelight Concerts, Columbia, MD; University of Vermont Lane Series, 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 across the country, including at Dartmouth, MIT, Brandeis, Northeastern, University of NM, University of CA, Peabody Institute, Manhattan School of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Find out more information about our programs and our composers & collaborators.

 

BIOGRAPHIES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ENSEMBLE:

BENJAMIN KREITH, violinist +

RICK SHINOZAKI, violinist +

CHARLTON LEE, violist +

KATHRYN BATES, cellist +

 

 

 

 

© Del Sol Performing Arts Organization • Photos by RJ Muna • Website by Anna Singer