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Del Sol String Quartet: Charlton Lee, viola; Kate Sternberg, violin; Rick Shinozaki, violin; Hannah Addario-Berry, cello © Jim Block

Kate Stenberg (violin)

Rick Shinozaki (violin)

Charlton Lee (viola)

Hannah Addario-Berry (cello)

The San Francisco-based DEL SOL STRING QUARTET, two-time winners of the national Chamber Music America/ASCAP First Place Award for Adventurous Programming, stands out as a group of pure invention - exploring new ways for a string quartet to interact with audiences, composers and other artists. Del Sol began at the renowned Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, after which it was awarded a year-long residency at San Francisco State University in association with the Alexander String Quartet. Del Sol is now a leader in new music performance. The musicians have been featured on KQED-TV's "Spark," the Bay Area's acclaimed PBS arts and culture show, and they have released three critically acclaimed CDs, including Ring of Fire: Music of the Pacific Rim (2008) - which received noteworthy reviews from Gramophone Magazine, The Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Del Sol's newest recording is First Life, featuring Marc Blitzstein's early string and piano works. In addition to regularly performing concerts, the Quartet has held residencies at schools and universities and is the creator of "QuartetFest," a unique program of intensive coaching in chamber music performance for young string players.

Del Sol has commissioned and introduced many new pieces by composers from around the globe. In March 2009, at the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, the Quartet premiered Linda Catlin Smith's Gondola and Michael Harrison's Tone Clouds for a specially-tuned "just-intonation piano" and string quartet, both written for Del Sol, and Polish composer Dobromila Jaskot's Linearia. In 2009 Del Sol also performed two premieres of a first string quartet by renowned composer Tania León and a new work by emerging composer, Paul Yeon Lee. The concert, which also featured Philip Glass's Fifth String Quartet, was given a glowing review by San Francisco Classical Voice.

The Quartet's multifaceted collaborations with other artists in 2008 included performances of StringWreck, choreographed and directed by Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton, and Divide Light, a multi-media opera by New York artist Lesley Dill, based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson and presented by Montalvo Arts Center. In 2007 Del Sol performed Tan Dun's Ghost Opera at the Santa Fe Opera's new music series with Wu Man, pipa soloist. In all of these full-scale productions the Quartet members integrated their string playing with additional vocal and percussion roles while moving around onstage.

In October 2007, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Del Sol premiered Spiral X: "In Memoriam" (for amplified string quartet) by Grawemeyer Award-winning composer, Chinary Ung, co-commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation. That program, which was performed on Stradivarius instruments from the Library's collection, also included works by Kui Dong and Gabriela Lena Frank, as well as Peter Sculthorpe's Quartet No.16 for string quartet and didjeridu.

Del Sol's 2006 performance of Daniel Bernard Roumain's complete string quartets, with the hip-hop inspired composer/violinist performing, was featured nationally on the CBS Evening News. The Quartet has partnered with composers Duo Huang, Kui Dong and Melody of China, the Bay Area's internationally acclaimed Chinese music ensemble, to perform new works written for the combination of traditional Chinese instruments and string quartet. Del Sol has also collaborated with Hyo-shin Na and five other contemporary women composers from Korea, premiering their work in Seoul and San Francisco.

Upcoming activities include multi-media collaborations with visual and video artists; performances at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Candlelight Concerts in Maryland, participation in the University of Vermont Bishop Lane Artists' Series and the Pacific Rim Music Festival at University of California-Santa Cruz; and world premieres of commissioned works by Joan Jeanrenaud, Kronos Quartet's former cellist of 20 years of Kronos Quartet, and Ronald Bruce Smith.
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