On September 30, 1989 the members of the Marian Anderson String Quartet, then known as the Chaminade Quartet, came together; unaware that they would soon change history.
In 1991, the Quartet won the International Cleveland Quartet Competition, becoming the first African American ensemble in history to win a classical music competition. To highlight this singular achievement the members of the quartet asked permission of the great contralto, Marian Anderson, to use her name as their own. Miss Anderson responded with heartfelt approval and, in a memorable show of gratitude, the Marian Anderson String Quartet played for its legendary namesake and her nephew, conductor James DePriest.
The Marian Anderson String Quartet’s artistic endeavors have brought them to New York’s Alice Tully Hall, the Corcoran Gallery, the Library of Congress, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Kilbourn Hall, The University of Southern California and the Chateau Cantanac-Brown in Bordeaux, France. The Quartet’s distinguished history includes performances through the Da Camera Society, the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 1993, the Marian Anderson String Quartet performed at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center as part of the 52nd presidential inaugural celebration.
The Marian Anderson String Quartet has been on the faculty of numerous universities throughout the country. They were Quartet in Residence at the City College of New York (1990-1995), and were Ensemble in Residence at California State University-Los Angeles (1995-1999). In 2001, the Quartet completed a graduate fellowship program at the acclaimed Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas. The Marian Anderson String Quartet was the Ensemble in Residence at Prairie View A&M University (2001-2005) and Ensemble in Residence at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas (2001- 2009) and Blinn College in Bryan, Texas.
Driven by their belief in the power of education, the Marian Anderson String Quartet has performed in hundreds of churches, libraries, museums, soup kitchens and prisons. They have brought their craft to countless children across America under the auspices of Young Audiences, Da Camera of Houston and Project G.R.A.D. (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams) in Houston, Texas.
In 2000, the Marian Anderson String Quartet was awarded a rural residency grant from the Texaco Foundation, which brought music and culture to communities in the south and southwestern United States.
In 2008, the Marian Anderson String Quartet received the prestigious Guarneri String Quartet Award from Chamber Music America (CMA). CMA awards an annual residency grant specifically designed for string quartets as part of their Residency Partnership Program. This award provided the funding for an extensive outreach project featuring the Marian Anderson String Quartet and benefiting the inner-city school children of Seattle, Washington in 2009.
From 2006 to 2015, the quartet founded and ran the Marian Anderson String Quartet Community Music School and the summer Community Music Institute in Bryan, Texas.
Residencies, concerts, and talks have included: The National Gallery of Art (2015), Brown University as the Heimark inaugural artists-in-residence at the Center for the Study for Slavery, and Justice (2016), TedxBlinnCollege (2016) and The Quad City Arts in Iowa (2019).
Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, 7:30 p.m.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
501 W. 9th St., Little Rock
General admission $25; FREE student passes.
Program information coming soon
The Marian Anderson String Quartet playing "Lento" from String Quartet No.12 in F, (American) by Antonin Dvorak at the 9/11 Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Peace on September 7, 2021 at First Presbyterian Church in Bryan, Texas.