“…they play with power, fire, and attitude.” – Kalamazoo Record
“…a blazing, larger-than-life performance that seemed to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.” – The Washington Post
Distinguished by its virtuosic playing and impassioned interpretations, the Ariel Quartet has earned its glowing international reputation. Formed in Israel nearly twenty years ago when its members were students, the Quartet was recently awarded the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award. The Quartet serves as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where they direct the rigorous chamber music program and perform their own annual series of concerts in addition to their busy touring schedule.
In the 2016-17 season, the Ariel Quartet will perform the complete Beethoven cycle in Berlin, following a performance of the cycle for Napa’s Music in the Vineyards, and will also tour with Alon Goldstein in performances of the Mozart piano concertos arranged for quartet and piano. The Ariel Quartet’s 2015-16 season featured their debut at Carnegie Hall, as well as a major collaborative project with the clarinetist David Krakauer. Recent seasons included a groundbreaking Beethoven cycle performed at New York’s SubCulture that featured a midnight performance of the Grosse Fuge; a performance featuring music by three generations of Israeli composers at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; and a tour of South America.
The Ariel Quartet performs widely in Israel, Europe, and North America, including two record-setting Beethoven cycles, performed before all the members of the quartet turned thirty, and has collaborated with the pianist Orion Weiss; violist Roger Tapping; cellist Paul Katz; and the American, Pacifica, and Jerusalem String Quartets. The Quartet has toured with the cellist Alisa Weilerstein and has performed a number of times with the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler. Additionally, the Ariel was quartet-in-residence for the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, and for the Perlman Music Program, and was the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-In-Residence at the Caramoor Festival.
Formerly the resident ensemble in the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, the Ariel has won a number of prestigious international prizes including the Cleveland Quartet Award, the Grand Prize at the 2006 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the Székely Prize for their performance of Bartók, as well as the overall Third Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition. After that performance the American Record Guide described the Ariel Quartet as “a consummate ensemble gifted with utter musicality and remarkable interpretive power.”
The Ariel Quartet has been mentored extensively by Itzhak Perlman, Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried, Kim Kashkashian, and Martha Strongin Katz, among others, and spent a formative year in Basel, Switzerland, to study in-depth with Walter Levin, the founding first violinist of the LaSalle Quartet. The Quartet has received significant scholarship support for the members’ studies in the United States from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Dov and Rachel Gottesman, and the Legacy Heritage Fund. Most recently, they were awarded a substantial grant from The A. N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation.