Essentially, Dover Quartet is classical music. But the ensemble is also so much more than that. The group presents the idea of music, pure, and not-so simple, in a form that uses orchestral instruments in structures that often resemble pop. The result is no-nonsense music that brims with emotion and energy. The music on their latest release, “The Curtis Session” is so enthralling that audiences might find themselves lost in the sound and feel and not realize the passing of time. It is as though Dover Quartet was exactly what contemporary listening calls for.
About Dover Quartet
As if they have always existed, Dover Quartet seemingly shot to stardom as soon as they found audiences. In 2013, the American quartet won every prize of the prestigious Banff Competition, and thus swept the contest. The group has also been named the Cleveland Quartet Award winner and won the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. All of the award winning has made Dover Quartet one of the most sought-after ensembles in the world.
Dover Quartet serves as the quartet-in-residence for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, for Chamber Music Northwest, Artosphere, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, and Peoples’ Symphony in New York, and was recently named the first ever quartet-in-residence for the Kennedy Center.
For 2018-2019, the Dover Quartet is scheduled to play more than 100 hundred concerts around North America. In addition, the ensemble will also play shows in Hong Kong, Europe, and Australia.
Dover Quartet has also collaborated with other performers, such as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Peter Serkin, Anthony McGill and A Roomful of Teeth. The maverick filmmaker David Lynch invited the group to play at his Los Angeles Festival of Disruption.
Dover Quartet and the sound and ideas of “The Curtis Session”
The songs on “The Curtis Session” are original compositions by contemporary composer, Eric Sessler. Sessler work is marked by being accessible and having an engaging blend of classical music and popular music.
Sessler is award-winning and prolific. He has been honored by the American Academy of Arts & Letters, ASCAP, the Theodore Presser Foundation and received grants from American Composers Forum and the Philadelphia Music Project.
Sessler is a native of Dover, New Jersey, and is based outside of Philadelphia. He is a faculty member of both the Curtis Institute of Music and the Julliard School. He earned a degree in composition from the Curtis Institute and a doctorate from the Julliard School.
The sound of Dover Quartet on “The Curtis Sessions”
The songs are arranged into brief movements. Each of the four movements is marked by different qualities. The characteristics can be heard and felt, and it is precisely such aspects that pull listeners in. The rich, agile sound created by the strings in the Dover Quartet is engaging. Each movement begs for its own consideration. One listen will demonstrate why the group has been well-reviewed by such notable publications as The New Yorker.
The songs are taken from Sessler’s “Dreams From Life Awake.” The first movement is full of contradicting note qualities: legato versus staccato. Chirping and accenting over somber, grounding notes. Throughout, energy pulsates and makes listeners pay attention for what might be coming next.
Dover Quartet is comprised of Joel Link on violin, Bryan Lee on violin, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt on viola and Camden Shaw on cello.