The Quartet Project was born from necessity. As composer Geoffrey Hudson
recounts, “I was standing in front of a wall of bookshelves filled to overflowing with
string chamber music, looking for music for the young string quartet I would be
coaching that week. The romantics (Schubert, Dvorak, Mendelssohn…) were too
difficult and too long to learn in a week; twentieth century giants like Bartók and
Shostakovich were similarly out of reach; and I knew that turning to the old
classical standbys would be met with heavy sighs from the kids (‘Haydn…
My search for new repertoire was fruitless, as similar searches had been in the
past. And finally, that day, those repeated failures sparked an idea: I would devote
the next two years to composing a collection of progressive pieces for quartet.
And now—eight years later—The Quartet Project is here in your hands.”
From the outset, workshop testing of the music was central to
the vision of The Quartet Project. Merely claiming that pieces
are suitable for beginners would not be enough. We wanted to be
sure that they actually were.
To that end, we developed The Quartet Project in conjunction
with leading chamber music organizations from across the
United States, including: Community MusicWorks (Providence,
RI), Drake University Community School of Music (Des Moines,
IA), the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra—now called
(Minneapolis, MN), and the Third Street Music School
Settlement (New York, NY).
Between 2008 and 2010, these partner organizations hosted workshops in which student string quartets rehearsed music from The
Quartet Project with their faculty coaches. Each rehearsal process concluded with a mini-residency, in which the quartets worked
directly with composer Geoffrey Hudson. He collected feedback from students and teachers and used it to revise and refine The
Quartet Project. We are deeply grateful to our workshop partners, who had the courage and insight to embrace The Quartet Project
when it was a half-formed idea.
On-line Master Classes and Recording
Along the way, we expanded the project to include a
series of on-line master classes in which leading
professional quartets guided amateurs of all ages in
performances of music from The Quartet Project.
Between date and date, we organized nine rounds of The
Quartet Project Challenge hosted by eight wonderful
part, with participants from six countries ranging in age
from 6 to 95. You can re-visit The Quartet Project
Out of those master classes came an audio CD, 38
Selections: A Quartet Project Sampler featuring world
premiere recordings by the eight quartets listed above
About the supporters
The Quartet Project exists thanks to the vision and generosity of many people. A three-year grant from the Davoli-McDonagh
Charitable Foundation was essential to getting the project off the ground, an ongoing sponsorship from the Viennese string-maker
Thomastik-Infeld enabled us to launch the on-line master class, and generous grants from the International Music and Art
Foundation and New Music USA made the recording possible.
We are also indebted to more than 200 individual donors who banded together to support the creation of The Quartet Project. A
patron need not be a single individual of great wealth. When we pool our ideas and resources, our collective strength can work