Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the two-time Grammy-nominated Dover Quartet is one of the world’s most in-demand chamber ensembles. The Dover Quartet is the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music and holds additional residencies at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and the Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its honors include the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.
The Dover Quartet’s 2023–24 season includes a North American tour with Leif Ove Andsnes, performances with Haochen Zhang and David Shifrin, and a tour to Europe and Israel. A sought-after ensemble, recent collaborators include Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnaton, Ray Chen, the Escher String Quartet, Bridget Kibbey, Anthony McGill, Edgar Meyer, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, and Davóne Tines. In 2022, the quartet premiered Steven Mackey’s theatrical-musical work Memoir, alongside arx duo and actor-narrator Natalie Christa. They also recently premiered works by Mason Bates, Marc Neikrug, and Chris Rogerson.
The Dover Quartet’s highly acclaimed three-volume recording, Beethoven Complete String Quartets (Cedille Records), was hailed as “meticulously balanced, technically clean-as-a-whistle and intonationally immaculate” (The Strad). The quartet’s discography also includes Encores (Brooklyn Classical), a recording of 10 popular movements from the string quartet repertoire; The Schumann Quartets (Azica Records), which was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance; Voices of Defiance: 1943, 1944, 1945 (Cedille Records); and an all-Mozart debut recording (Cedille Records), featuring the late Michael Tree — long-time violist of the Guarneri Quartet. Voices of Defiance, which explores works written during World War II by Viktor Ullman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Simon Laks, was lauded as “undoubtedly one of the most compelling discs released this year” (The Wall Street Journal).
The Dover Quartet draws from the lineage of the distinguished Guarneri, Cleveland, and Vermeer quartets. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. They were mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley. The Dover Quartet was formed at Curtis in 2008; its name pays tribute to Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.
The Dover Quartet’s faculty residency at Curtis integrates teaching and mentorship, a robust international performance career, and a cutting-edge digital presence. The innovative residency allows Curtis to reinvigorate its tradition of maintaining a top-quality professional string quartet on its faculty, while providing resources for the ensemble to experiment with new technologies and engage audiences digitally. Working closely with students in the Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program, the Dover Quartet coaches and mentors the most promising young string quartets to nurture a new generation of leading professional chamber ensembles.