Artaria String Quartet

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Artaria String Quartet
Also known as Artaria Quartet of Boston
Origin Boston, United States
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) String quartet
Instruments 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello
Years active 1986–present
Labels Aequebis Recordings, Centaur
Members Ray Shows, violin
Nancy Oliveros, violin
Annalee Wolf, viola
Laura Sewell, cello

The Artaria String Quartet (originally the Artaria Quartet of Boston) is a Minnesota–based string quartet in residence at Sundin Music Hall on the campus of Hamline University. Previously the Quartet was in residence at Viterbo University and Boston College. Originally formed in Boston, the quartet was mentored by members of the legendary Budapest, La Salle, Kolisch, and Juilliard quartets. The primary mission of the quartets is to develop chamber music awareness and appreciation as Teaching Artists.


History of Artaria[edit]

The Artaria Quartet of Boston was formed at Boston University in 1986 by Raphael Hillyer and mentored by Eugene Lehner. Lehner was their primary teacher and actually named the ensemble. The group was also coached by the [Muir String Quartet] at BU. In 1988 Artaria was invited to teach at the quartet seminar (directed by Norman Fischer) at the Boston UniversityTanglewood Institute in the Berkshires. In 1990 they were prizewinners in the Alliance Auditions. They were also Artist Diploma students at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1992, the AQB competed in the Banff International String Quartet Competition along with the St. Lawrence, Ying, Mandelring, Amati, Miami, Amernet, Harrington and Italian quartets. That same year, on the recommendation of Marcia Ferritto, they were invited to Washington DC to audition for the National Endowments newly created Rural Residency program and were hosted by the Tifton, Georgia Arts Council for the 1992-93 season. The following year they were invited to join the faculty of Boston College and Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin where they performed, coached, taught classes and at Viterbo, created a successful New Music Festival. These residency appointments ended in 1997. In 1999 and 2000 the ASQ was again invited to teach and perform at the Tanglewood Institute.

In 2001 the quartet relocated to the Twin Cities (changing its name to Artaria String Quartet) where they present an annual concert series at Sundin Music Hall and mentor young string players in the Artaria Chamber Music School. In 2004 they won a prestigious McKnight Award for Performing Artists performing music by Schubert, Shostakovich and Syler. Artaria continues to concertize across the region at public and private venues, on the radio and on public television. The quartet also directs the Stringwood Summer Music Festival in Lanesboro, Minnesota. The group has commissioned many works for string quartet by composers Marjorie Merryman, Auguste Read Thomas, Tom Oboe Lee, David Cleary, and James Syler.

Their current major project is performing and recording the complete quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich. Their Shostakovich cycle is a premiere for the Twin Cities.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Finalists 1992 Banff International String Quartet Competition
  • 1992 National Endowment for the Arts Rural Residency Grant
  • 2004 McKnight Award for Performing Artists
  • 2010 Featured American Ensemble, CMA Magazine Summer 2010
  • 2011 Chamber Music America Residency Initiative Grant

Emphasis on Chamber Music Education[edit]

The Artaria String Quartet has devoted its career to educating the next generation of chamber music performers and listeners. Their Chamber Music School ACMS features a comprehensive chamber music program of mentoring and performance with many of its young artists reaching national competitions and in 2011 being invited to perform at the Caramoor Festival on From the Top. Their summer chamber music program Stringwood founded in 2000 attracts talented high school students from across the country to study chamber music with Artaria.


The Artaria String Quartet has released five albums through their self-produced Aequbis Recordings, and one album of the String Quartets of David Cleary.

Release date Label Album
1994 Inventing Situations: Music for String Quartet by David Cleary Centaur CRC2251
1995 Music of Brahms & Debussy Aequebis Recordings
2000 Music of Haydn and Shostakovich Aequebis Recordings
2003 An Artaria Winter Holiday Aequebis Recordings
2011 Music of Mozart & Shostakovich Aequebis Recordings


External links[edit]