One of the most unique and sought-after chamber ensembles on the concert stage today, the Carpe Diem String Quartet is a boundary-breaking ensemble that has earned widespread critical and audience acclaim for its innovative programming and electrifying performances. Carpe Diem defies easy classification with programming that reflects its passions for Gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music, and has become one of America's premiere “indie” string quartets, without sacrificing its commitment to the traditional quartet repertoire. From a recent review; "Until Saturday evening, I had never heard a performance by one of these multilingual quartets where the classical repertoire was delivered at a level that was competitive with the finest traditional groups. But the Carpe Diem Quartet, appearing at the Dumbarton Church, was extraordinary. Among these contemporary quartets who speak in different tongues, the Carpe Diem is the best one out there." (The Washington Post, Washington, DC)
The quartet continues to rack up accolades and awards. For three consecutive years, Carpe Diem was the only quartet in America chosen to receive prestigious ArtsAlive Awards from the PNC Foundation, and they received rave reviews such as: “This is an accomplished ensemble with a distinctive sound and personality” (San Diego Union Tribune); “One would have to search long and hard to find a more charming and enjoyable chamber music concert . . . A number of elements contributed to this end result, not the least of which the superb musicianship of the four musicians-Carpe Diem is a seriously talented quartet in the most traditional definition.” (Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, FL).
Carpe Diem seeks out, and is sought after by, artists from many different genres for collaborations. Carpe Diem’s diverse musical partnerships include American singer/songwriter/guitarist Willy Porter -- the CD of their live concert debut continues to receive accolades – as well as Latin Grammy winner/bandoneón player Raul Juarena, klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, cellist Yo Yo Ma, banjo virtuoso and Canadian Folk Music "Artist of the Year" Jayme Stone, Dixieland trumpeter Tom Battenberg, Chinese pipa player Yihan Chen, and world master of the Persian santoor Dariush Saghafi. The quartet is the resident ensemble for Columbus Dance Theatre, and their joint project The String Machine was aired by WOSU-PBS television through 2007-2008, and nominated for an Emmy award. The quartet has a busy recording schedule, and continues its project of recording the nine string quartets of Sergey Taneyev for the Naxos label.
Carpe Diem’s CD “Montana,” by composer (and quartet member) Korine Fujiwara, received this rave review in Strings Magazine: Carpe Diem “must be one of the most adventurous groups of its kind. Evidently feeling that attention to living composers begins at home, the players have devoted this entire record to works of its own violist, and with performances of idiomatic empathy and infectious enthusiasm prove that she fully deserves their championship.”
The quartet is dedicated to community engagement, and regularly performs programs specifically designed to relate to audiences of all ages and establish chamber music's relevance to their lives. Carpe Diem has developed several engagement programs by which they accomplish this:
CarpeDiemMusiCare concerts are offered without charge to those unable to attend regular concerts. This includes: free performances at senior citizen communities, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, hospice centers, hospitals, Alzheimer care units, and regular visits to the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center -- a unique and unprecedented expansion.
Music Goes 2 School gives schools the opportunity to have Carpe Diem come right to their classroom – up close and personal. The quartet interacts with kindergarten through grade 12 students, offering a musical experience for the entire classroom, and works with string programs in side-by-side, sectional, masterclass, and individual instruction settings.
Music from the Start has Carpe Diem teamed up with the Columbus Head Start Centers, offering a quality musical experience to pre-school age children in Columbus, Ohio, at no charge to the facility or to their parents. This program is made possible by the generosity of the PNC Foundation.
carpe.diem.kids is a series of free family concerts performed in the Columbus community of Harrison West. Students and their parents join CDSQ for an hour of intimate, interactive music making. With the younger listener in mind, we engage the audience with playful musical selections, discussion, and question-and-answer time.
Carpe Diem champions the music of living composers, and has commissioned, premiered, and performed works from a broad and stylistically diverse range of various composers including Frank Bennett, Lawrence Dillon, Danny Elfman, Ken Fuchs, Korine Fujiwara, Osvaldo Golijov, Andre Hajdu, Donald Harris, Jennifer Higdon, Jonathan Leshnoff, Nicholas Maw, William Thomas McKinley, Clancy Newman, Carter Pann, Kevin Putts, Eric Sawyer, Gunther Schuller, Richard Smoot, Bradley Sowash, Reza Vali, and Bruce Wolosoff, among others.
Carpe Diem is committed to pushing the limits of the classical string quartet and to changing the concert experience of chamber music. Using innovative programming, thematic concerts, popular music for younger generations, cameras and video to assist in the visual presentation, as well as speaking from the stage to better engage the audience, Carpe Diem is bringing new audiences into the concert hall and revitalizing the chamber music experience.
Carpe Diem String Quartet is represented by:
Lisa Sapinkopf Artists & Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates.
For further information, please visit www.carpediemstringquartet.com.