Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Del Sol String Quartet
Riveting performances of new music with a global pulse
Hailed by Gramophone as “masters of all musical things they survey” and two-time winner of the top Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the Del Sol String Quartet shares living music with an ever-growing community of adventurous listeners.

Fascinated by the feedback loop between social change, technology, and artistic innovation, the San Francisco-based ensemble is a leading force in 21st century chamber music - whether introducing Ben Johnston’s microtonal Americana at the Library of Congress, exploring Andean soundscapes with Gabriela Lena Frank and traditional musicians, deconstructing Ruth Crawford’s radical experimental processes with East Bay schoolchildren, or rocking Mason Bates’ techno grooves in his San Francisco club dance party.

Del Sol focuses on music that reflects the cultural diversity of our community, championing works by both world-renowned and emerging composers, and collaborating across disciplines. Founded in 1992 at Banff Centre for the Arts, Del Sol’s collaborative performance projects and chamber music programs embrace this panoramic and emotionally rich worldview. Del Sol has breached the wall between pit and stage in STRINGWRECK, its cheeky collaboration with critically acclaimed choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton; explored the intimate impact of AIDS in composer Ricky Ian Gordon’s deeply moving, autobiographical chamber opera, GREEN SNEAKERS, with baritone Jesse Blumberg; and immersed the audience in a four-dimensional soundscape created with composer and video artist Chris Jonas in GARDEN. Whether diving deeply into a single work or transcending the limits of genre, Del Sol’s carefully crafted chamber music programs engage audiences fully in the concert experience.

Recognized as a “vigorous champion of living composers”, Del Sol has premiered well over 100 works through its extensive commissioning and innovative performances. The composers represent a diverse range of contemporary voices, including Terry Riley, Mason Bates, Frederic Rzewski, Ben Johnston, Gabriela Lena Frank, Chinary Ung, Tania León, Ken Ueno, Peter Sculthorpe, Reza Vali, Mohammed Fairouz and Per Nørgård.

Many of these works are included in Del Sol’s eclectic discography — eight, critically-acclaimed, full-length albums that reflect the ensemble’s fascination with the intersection of place and culture. The New York Times praised Del Sol’s most recent recording, Scrapyard Exotica (2015), on the GRAMMY® Award-winning Sono Luminus label: “See if your foot can stay still once you put on this funky disc of rhythmically infectious…music played by the adventurous Del Sol String Quartet.” BBC Music Magazine lauded this “beautifully performed disc…featur[ing] three new works which reimagine the string quartet genre in contrasting, colourful and intriguing ways.”

Other Del Sol recordings have explored the “hypnotic sound world” of Peter Sculthorpe (Sculthorpe: The Complete String Quartets with Didjeridu); reveled in musical languages from Peru, Turkey, Spain, Iran and Uzbekistan (Zia); featured composers from the Pacific Rim (Ring of Fire); illuminated the string quartets of George Antheil, Marc Blitzstein and Robert Erickson; and created a vibrant dialogue between 20th century masters and young composers from the Americas (Tear).

The Quartet has performed at prestigious venues around the world, including the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Museum and National Gallery of Art in Washington DC; Symphony Space in New York City; Other Minds Festival of New Music in San Francisco; Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Santa Cruz, CA; Clefworks Festival, Montgomery, AL; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston; Santa Fe Opera in NM; Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY; Candlelight Concerts, Columbia, MD; University of Vermont Lane Series in Burlington, VT; Davos and Hirzenberg Music Festivals in Switzerland; and the Chengdu Festival of Contemporary Music in China.

With its deep commitment to education, Del Sol has reached thousands of K-12 students through inventive school performances, workshops, coaching and residencies. The Quartet members also have worked closely with student composers, musicians and faculty artists at universities across the country, including Dartmouth, MIT, Brandeis, Northeastern, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, University of New Mexico, University of California at Berkeley, San Diego, and Santa Cruz, Chapman, Augustana, Illinois State, the Peabody Institute, the Manhattan School of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Mas Lugares by Stefano Scodanibbio recorded live at Old First Church in San Francisco.
Ben Johnston - Quartet #10, mvt 1, live from Library of Congress
CDs on which Del Sol String Quartet appears:
Del Sol Quartet A Dust In Time
Artist: Del Sol Quartet
Title: A Dust In Time
Label: Bright Shiny Things BSTC-0158
Label page on this site: Bright Shiny Things
Bright Shiny Things BSTC-0158
Del Sol String Quartet Dark Queen Mantra
Artist: Del Sol String Quartet
Title: Dark Queen Mantra
Label: Sono Luminus
Label page on this site: Sono Luminus
Sono Luminus
Del Sol String Quartet Scrapyard Exotica
Artist: Del Sol String Quartet
Title: Scrapyard Exotica
Label: Sono Luminus
Label page on this site: Sono Luminus
Sono Luminus
Del Sol String Quartet Sculthorpe - The Complete String Quartets w/ Didjeridu
Artist: Del Sol String Quartet
Title: Sculthorpe - The Complete String Quartets w/ Didjeridu
Label: Sono Luminus
Label page on this site: Sono Luminus
Sono Luminus