75 Years of the Juilliard String Quartet

Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Juilliard Journal
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We’re paying tribute to four Juilliard anniversaries this year—20 years of Juilliard Jazz, 30 of the Music Advancement Program (MAP), 70 of Juilliard Dance, and 75 of the Juilliard String Quartet. We will be posting articles about all four throughout the year, some of which, including this one, are adapted from exhibits in the Larkin Lobby of the Diamond building at Juilliard.

Juilliard String Quartet 1946-2021

After 75 years, the essence and the legacy of the Juilliard String Quartet remains the cultivation of the new and the rediscovery of the old remains the legacy of the Juilliard String Quartet. To the extent that the quartet has a fixed tradition, it’s an emphasis on freshness and curiosity. As such, the commissioning of original pieces is part of the quartet’s work, and when you join this quartet, you have to commit to take risks. Through it all, our residency at Juilliard has given us a unique platform for creating new works, allowing for rich collaborations with other faculty and students.

At the same time, our interest in contemporary music is always reshaping our views of the traditional repertory. When we work with a composer to help create a piece from scratch, we get to be inside the compositional process. This helps illuminate the brilliance of a Haydn or Bartók quartet and gives us fresh perspectives on their language and meaning.

Indeed, the calls for greater diversity in classical music—longstanding but with greater urgency in recent years—are another way of rediscovering the old by cultivating the new. In seeking to find more voices and help bring them to the world, we find our thinking shifting about what the canon is and what it needs to be.

This type of reconsideration is a new manifestation of the JSQ’s tradition. We are honored to bring the quartet into a new era, to new generations and communities.

—Juilliard String Quartet
Areta Zhulla (Pre-College ’04; BM ’08, MM ’10, violin; faculty 2018–present)
Ronald Copes (faculty 1997–present), violin
Roger Tapping (faculty 2013–present), viola
Astrid Schween (Pre-College ’80; BM ’84, MM ’85, cello; faculty 2016–present)

75 Years of the Juilliard String Quartet | Slideshow - Modal Window

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