The Telegraph Quartet was formed in 2013 with an equal passion for the standard chamber music repertoire and for 20th and 21st century music. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2017 as “an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape” and “powerfully adept . . . with a combination of brilliance and subtlety,” the Telegraph Quartet was awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Past prizes include the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. The quartet has gone on to perform in concert halls, music festivals and academic institutions from Los Angeles and New York to Italy and Taiwan, including Carnegie Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Recital Hall and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Chamber Masters Series, and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Kneisel Hall, and the Emilia Romagna Festival in Italy. In 2016, the Quartet was one of a handful of emerging professional string quartets invited from around the world to the Biennale de quatuors à cordes to showcase at the Philharmonie de Paris for major concert presenters of Europe and Asia.
The Telegraph Quartet gave its first Carnegie Hall appearance in Weill Recital Hall in 2015 with violinist Ian Swensen and pianist Jeff LaDeur, and will return to Carnegie Hall in 2018 for its Naumburg Award Concert featuring the world premiere of Robert Sirota’s third string quartet. The quartet’s notable collaborators have include cellist Norman Fischer, pianist Simone Dinnerstein and Germany’s Henschel Quartett. A fervent champion of contemporary and 20th century repertoire, Telegraph has co-commissioned John Harbison’s String Quartet No. 6, and will give its West Coast premiere in the fall of 2017 on San Francisco State University’s Morrison Artists Series. In 2017 the quartet will release its début album, with works by Anton Webern, Benjamin Britten, and Leon Kirchner.
Beyond the concert stage, the Telegraph Quartet seeks to spread its music through education and audience engagement. In 2017/18, the quartet will be traveling to communities and schools in Maine with Yellow Barn’s Music Haul, a mobile performance stage that brings music outside the concert hall to communities across the U.S. The quartet has given master classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Collegiate and Pre-College Divisions, through the Morrison Artist Series at San Francisco State University and abroad at the Taipei National University of the Arts and National Taiwan Normal University. Members of the quartet hold teaching positions in chamber music and private instruction at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The quartet has also worked in collaboration with the American luthier Douglas Cox, who created a set of instruments specifically to be performed together as a balanced quartet, featuring a performance and open-forum presentation of these instruments at the San Francisco Conservatory.
While the Telegraph Quartet is indebted to numerous mentors and teachers, our primary musical guidance and support has come from Mark Sokol, Bonnie Hampton and Ian Swensen of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The Telegraph Quartet is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.