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Orion String Quartet

Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D. 887
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No.13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130 (with Grosse Fuge)


Orion String Quartet
Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips, Violins
Steven Tenenbom, Viola
Timothy Eddy, Cello

The Orion String Quartet, one of today’s leading chamber music ensembles, will retire at the end of the 2023-24 season, concluding an illustrious 36-year partnership. Violinists Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips, brothers who share the first violin chair equally, and cellist Timothy Eddy decided to form the quartet in 1987 (with the original violist Catherine Metz), after establishing successful individual careers; Steven Tenenbom became the quartet’s violist in 1993, and their lineup has remained unchanged for nearly 30 years.


The quartet is one of the leading chamber music ensembles on the classical music scene today.  Admired for diverse programming that juxtaposes masterworks of quartet literature with key works of the 20th and 21st centuries, the Orion provides singularly rich dimension to its music-making.  The members of the Orion String Quartet—violinists Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips, brothers who share the first violin chair equally, violist Steven Tenenbom, and cellist Timothy Eddy—have worked closely with illustrious musicians, such as Pablo Casals, Sir András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Peter Serkin, members of the ensemble TASHI, and the Beaux Arts Trio, as well as the Budapest, Végh, Galimir, and Guarneri String Quartets.  The Orion String Quartet are Artist Members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.


In the 2021-2022 season, they appeared in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Winter Festival, performing selections from Wynton Marsalis’s At the Octoroon Balls and Milhaud’s La Création du Monde, and repeated this program at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Virginia in the spring. The Quartet’s concerts last season also included appearances with the Phoenix Chamber Music Society and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in music by Haydn, Bach, Bartók and Beethoven, and with Linton Chamber Music in Cincinnati, in collaboration with Anthony McGill for Reger’s Clarinet Quintet and quartet works by Beethoven.      


During the Quartet’s 30th-anniversary season in 2017-2018, the group celebrated at principal chamber music series throughout North America. They played the complete Beethoven string quartets in a series of six concerts at Mannes School of Music, where they held the position of  Quartet-in-Residence for 27 years; at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center they performed in an all-Haydn program and presented a contemporary music concert of works written for the group, including the world premiere of Sebastian Currier’s Etudes and Lullabies commissioned by the Chamber Music Society, David Dzubay’s “Astral” Quartet No. 1 for Strings, and Brett Dean’s Quartet No. 2 for Strings and Soprano And once I played Ophelia.  New music specialist Tony Arnold joined the Orion as vocal soloist for this performance. 


The Orion String Quartet has contributed to the development and expansion of the string quartet repertoire through commissions from composers Chick Corea, David Del Tredici, Alexander Goehr, Thierry Lancino, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Marc Neikrug, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Lieberson, and Wynton Marsalis.  As a hallmark of its 25th anniversary, the group collaborated with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in a two-week project that featured music by Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Ravel, and Beethoven.  WQXR’s The Greene Space produced a live broadcast of the collaboration, including the performance and a discussion among members of the Orion Quartet and choreographer Bill T. Jones.


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