Dover Quartet - Biographie

Dover Quartet © Roy Cox

Joel Link - violin

Bryan Lee - violin

Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt - viola

Camden Shaw - violoncello

Considered one of the most remarkably talented young string quartets ever to emerge at such a young age, the Dover Quartet was the Grand Prize-winner of the 2010 Fischoff Competition, won prices at the International Competition in London and in 2013 they won the first prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Banff. Their winner’s tour in 2014 included performances in Berlin, Bremen, Duesseldorf, Nuremberg and Hamburg in spring 2014 left audience, press and promoters enthusiastic.

Formed at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2008, when its members were just 19 years old, the Quartet draws from the musical lineage of both the Vermeer and Guarneri Quartets, but brings a youthful enthusiasm and musical conviction to the repertoire that is truly its own. The Strad recently raved that the Quartet is “already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretative maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble.” Members of the Quartet have appeared as soloists with some of the world's finest orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony and BBC Concert Orchestra.

Touring Europe several times, the quartet has already performed amongst others at London’s Wigmore Hall, at the Biennale in Paris, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Philharmonie Cologne, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, in Regensburg, Munich, Salzburg, Geneva, Berlin, Frankfurt, Innsbruck, Brussels, at Schloss Esterházy, Kultursommer Nordhessen, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Rheingau Musik Festival, Klosterkonzerte Maulbronn and at Dresdner Musikfestspiele. In 2019 and the beginning of 2020 they performed amongst others at Konzerthaus Berlin, Wigmore Hall London, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg as well as in Basel, Amsterdam, Geneva and Badenweiler. In some of these Edgar Meyer was their partner. Some highlights of their schedule for the next season are concerts in Prague (as octet with the Pavel Haas Quartet), Munich, London and Copenhagen.

A first recording of quartets and a string quintet by Mozart (an homage to the Guarneri's first recording) has been released in September 2016 (Cedille). A recording of World War II repertoire (Dmitri Shostakovich, Viktor Ullmann and Simon Laks) with the title “Voices of Defiance” has been released in 2018 on the same label. With the end of 2019 a CD with Schumann’s string quartets was released, which will be followed by a complete recording of Beethoven’s string quartets in 2020.

The Quartet is based in Philadelphia. In 2013/14, they were nominated the first ever quartet-in-residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. The ensemble is named after the string quartet “Dover Beach” written by one of the most famous students of the Curtis Institute: Samuel Barber.

In 2015, the Dover Quartet has been awarded the Cleveland Quartet Award followed in 2017 by the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

The Dover Quartet plays on the following instruments:

Joel Link: Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris circa 1857, on loan by Desiree Ruhstradt

Bryan Lee: Riccardo Antoniazzi, Milan 1904

Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt: Michele Deconet, Venice, 1780, the ‘Kroyt,’ generously on loan from the grandson of Boris Kroyt of the Budapest Quartet

Camden Shaw: Frank Ravatin, France 2010