The University of Texas at Austin

Dover Quartet

Joel Link, violin
Bryan Lee, violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola
Camden Shaw, cello


Joy, Escape, Outlet, Gift
Mendelssohn: Four Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 81
Laks: Quartet No. 3
Victor Ullmann: Quartet No. 3
Schumann: Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 41, No. 2

This program explores the most important functions of music to humans: its ability to transport us, its offer of pure enjoyment, and its capacity to say what words by themselves cannot.

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Mendelssohn's music is an example of the simplest reason we all love music so much, for the sheer delight we discover in its beauty and emotional richness. On the other side of the spectrum, we find Simon Laks and Viktor Ullmann, who were both victims of concentration camps; Laks wrote his third quartet after the liberation of the concentration camps (he spent most of his time in Auschwitz). This music, based on his native Polish themes, transported him to the past and created vivid memories of life before the war. Ullmann wrote his Quartet No. 3 while imprisoned in Theresienstadt, and used music as an escape from his reality. The incredible ending of the quartet is one of triumph and hope. He wrote music which transported him to another world other than the one he lived in. Finally, one of the most wonderful examples of music's ability to speak to us more deeply than words, Schumann's Quartet No. 2, part of a birthday gift to his beloved wife Clara, is a declaration of love and the deepest intimate feelings, which are so much more descriptive through the music. This program allows us to examine the crucial importance of music in every aspect of our lives.

Presented in partnership with Butler School of Music and KMFA-FM

The Dover Quartet catapulted to international acclaim after taking first prize at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, and was recently bestowed the Cleveland Quartet Award and the Lincoln Center Emerging Artists Award. With burnished warmth, incisive rhythms, and natural phrasing, the quartet’s sound is “so distinctive as to be identified within mere minutes” (Philadelphia Inquirer), helping confirm its status as “the young American string quartet of the moment” (The New Yorker).

[They] have it in them to become the next Guarneri String Quartet—they're that good. Expert musicianship, razor-sharp ensemble, deep musical feeling and a palpable commitment to communication made their performances satisfying on many levels.

Chicago Tribune

Barber: Adagio for Strings, Original Version, Dover Quartet Video from Dover Quartet on YouTube.

Fun Facts:

  • The Quartet was the first ever Quartet-in-Residence for the Curtis Institute of Music.
  • The Quartet won the Grand Prize and all three Special Prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition.
  • The Quartet is an active member of Music for Food, an initiative to help musicians fight hunger in their home communities.
  • Their debut album was named one of the top classical albums of 2016 by Apple Music.
  • The Quartet is the faculty Quartet-in-Residence at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music.


Listen to a ‘Twin Peaks’ Fantasy for String Quartet - The New York Times