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String Quartet History

June 18, 2013

Kronos: at 40 not so old Photo by Michael WilsonEver since the Tokyo String Quartet's farewell tour, I've been wondering about the rank of seniority among existing quartets. This list, compiled with the help of Lisa Hirsch and Michelle Dulak Thomson, may only approximate a full picture — feel free to add and correct in Comments below.

Borodin String Quartet, 1945
Fine Arts Quartet, 1946
Juilliard String Quartet, 1949
Allegri Quartet, 1953
Talich Quartet, 1964
Tokyo Quartet, 1970
Kronos Quartet, 1973
Arditti Quartet, 1974
Takács Quartet, 1974
Emerson Quartet, 1976

Lisa added: "The oldest of them all is the Gewandhaus String Quartet of Leipzig, founded in 1808."

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].