Dover Quartet & David Shifrin
Joel Link, violin
Bryan Lee, violin
Julianne Lee, viola
Camden Shaw, cello
Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the GRAMMY® nominated Dover Quartet has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.
The Dover Quartet’s 2022–23 season includes collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Joseph Conyers, and Haochen Zhang. The group tours Europe twice, including a return to London’s renowned Wigmore Hall and a debut performance in Copenhagen. The quartet recently premiered Steven Mackey’s theatrical-musical work Memoir, alongside arx duo and actor-narrator Natalie Christa. Other recent and upcoming artist collaborations include Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnaton, Ray Chen, the Escher String Quartet, Bridget Kibbey, Anthony McGill, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, the late Peter Serkin, and Davóne Tines.
In addition to Memoir, the Dover Quartet’s active 2021–22 season included world premiere performances of Marc Neikrug’s Piano Quintet No. 2 with Haochen Zhang, Chris Rogerson’s Dream Sequence with Anne-Marie McDermott, and Mason Bates’s Suite for String Quartet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dover Quartet presented more than 25 virtual concerts, recorded and produced at the Curtis Institute of Music. The virtual concerts were presented to audiences across the globe, including the quartet’s first-ever tour to Latin America, which was conducted virtually.
Cedille Records releases the third and final volume of the quartet’s recording of the Beethoven Complete String Quartetsin October 2022. Strad described the highly acclaimed recordings as “meticulously balanced, technically clean-as-a-whistle and intonationally immaculate.” Their recording of Encores was also released in 2021 on the Brooklyn Classical label. The quartet’s GRAMMY® nominated recording of The Schumann Quartets was released by Azica Records in 2019. Cedille Records released the Dover Quartet’s Voices of Defiance: 1943, 1944, 1945 in October 2017; and an all-Mozart debut recording in the 2016–17 season, featuring the late Michael Tree, violist of the Guarneri Quartet. Voices of Defiance, which explores works written during World War II by Viktor Ullman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Simon Laks, was lauded upon its release as “undoubtedly one of the most compelling discs released this year” (Wall Street Journal).
The Dover Quartet draws from the lineage of the distinguished Guarneri, Cleveland, and Vermeer quartets. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the University of Michigan. They were mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley. It was at Curtis that the Dover Quartet formed in 2008, and its name pays tribute to Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.
The Dover Quartet is the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at Curtis. Their faculty residency integrates teaching and mentorship, a robust international performance career, and a cutting-edge digital presence. With this innovative residency, Curtis reinvigorates its tradition of maintaining a top professional string quartet on its faculty, while providing resources for the ensemble to experiment with new technologies and engage audiences through digital means. Working closely with students in the Nina von Maltzahn String Quartet Program, the resident ensemble will recruit the most promising young string quartets and foster their development in order to nurture a new generation of leading professional chamber ensembles.
The Dover Quartet plays on the following instruments and proudly endorses Thomastik-Infeld strings.
Joel Link: a very fine Peter Guarneri of Mantua, 1710–15, on generous loan from Irene R. Miller through the Beare’s International Violin Society
Bryan Lee: Riccardo Antoniazzi, Milan, 1904; Samuel Zygmuntowicz, Brooklyn, 2020
Hezekiah Leung: Jürgen Manthey, Leipzig, 2014; Samuel Zygmuntowicz, Brooklyn, 2020, on loan through the El Pasito Foundation
Camden Shaw: Frank Ravatin, France, 2010
Winner of both the Avery Fisher Career Grant (1987) and the Avery Fisher Prize (2000), David Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator and educator.
Mr. Shifrin has appeared with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, Fort Worth, Hawaii and Phoenix symphonies among many others in the US; and internationally with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. He has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, as well as at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. A much sought after chamber musician, he has collaborated with such distinguished ensembles and artists as the Guarneri, Tokyo, Emerson, Orion, Dover and Miro String Quartets, trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, and pianists Emanuel Ax, Andre Previn and André Watts.
An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, David Shifrin served as its Artistic Director from 1992 to 2004. He has toured extensively throughout the US with CMSLC and hosted and performed in several national television broadcasts on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center. He concluded his tenure with Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon in summer 2020 after having been the festival’s Artistic Director since 1981. He is currently also the Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chamber Music Festival.
In addition, he has served as principal clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra (under Stokowski), the Honolulu and Dallas and New Haven symphonies, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the New York Chamber Symphony.
David Shifrin joined the faculty at the Yale School of Music in 1987and since 2008 has been Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Yale and Yale's annual concert series at Carnegie Hall. In January 2022, he was named the Samuel S. Sanford Professor in the Practice of Clarinet. He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Hawaii.
Mr. Shifrin has been instrumental in broadening the repertoire for clarinet and orchestra by commissioning and championing the works of 20th and 21st century American composers including John Adams, Joan Tower, Stephen Albert, Bruce Adolphe, Ezra Laderman, Lalo Schifrin, David Schiff, John Corigliano, Bright Sheng, Ellen Zwilich, Alvin Singleton, Hannah Lash, Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Valerie Coleman, Richard Danielpour and Peter Schickele.
Mr. Shifrin's recordings on Delos, DGG, Angel/EMI, Arabesque, BMG, SONY, and CRI have consistently garnered praise and awards. He has received three Grammy nominations and his recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, performed in its original version on a specially built elongated clarinet, was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review. Recent releases include the Beethoven, Bruch and Brahms Clarinet Trios with cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han on the ArtistLed label and a recording for Delos of works by Carl Nielsen, which includes the first recording of the Nielsen Clarinet Concerto arranged for chamber orchestra. In 2018, Delos released a recording of three clarinet quintets which were written for Mr. Shifrin by Peter Schickele, Richard Danielpour and Aaron J. Kernis with the Miro, Dover and Jasper Quartets respectively, as well as a second volume of clarinet quintets featuring David Schiff’s arrangement of Duke Ellington pieces. In early 2021, the Musica Solis label released a recording of original music and several newly arranged works for clarinet by Francis Poulenc.
In addition to the Avery Fisher Prize, David Shifrin is the recipient of a Solo Recitalists' Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 2016 Concert Artist Guild Virtuoso Award. He received an Honorary Membership to the International Clarinet Society in recognition of lifetime achievement and at the outset of his career, he won prizes at both the Munich and the Geneva International Competitions. He is also the recipient of Distinguished Alumni Awards from the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and a Cultural Leadership Citation from Yale University. In January 2018 he received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award at the Chamber Music America Conference, an award which recognizes an individual or entity who has provided historic service to the small ensemble music field.
Mr. Shifrin performs on a Backun “Lumiere” cocobolo wood clarinet made by Morrie Backun in Vancouver, Canada and uses Légère Reeds exclusively.
Joel Link, violin
Joel Link is a violinist with the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. Link is an active soloist and chamber musician; and has been a top prize winner of numerous competitions including the Johansen International Competition in Washington, D.C. and the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in England, for which he was featured in The Strad magazine. Mr. Link has appeared on numerous radio shows, including NPR’s From the Top.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Link studied with renowned violinists Joseph Silverstein and Pamela Frank, and served as the Curtis Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster for the 2009–10 season. He has attended music festivals across the globe, including the Ravinia Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire. As a member of the Dover Quartet, Mr. Link won first prize and every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2013 and the gold medal and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2010; and performs over 100 concerts around the world annually.
Mr. Link plays a very fine Peter Guarneri of Mantua violin, kindly loaned to him by Irene R. Miller through the Beare’s International Violin Society.
Mr. Link joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. He also teaches at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.
Bryan Lee, violin
Bryan Lee is a violinist with the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. Lee has performed as a soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Delaware, Lansdowne, and Temple University symphony orchestras, among others. He has been awarded the bronze medal at the Stulberg International String Competition and second prize at the Kingsville Young Performers Competition. With the Dover Quartet he won first prize and every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2013, and the gold medal and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2010. He has been featured on NPR’s From the Topand has attended Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest, Music from Angel Fire, Encore School for Strings, Sarasota Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and the Perlman Music Program.
Mr. Lee has served as associate concertmaster of Symphony in C and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and as a substitute for The Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Lee is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Pamela Frank and Victor Danchenko. His previous studies were with Choong-Jin Chang and Soovin Kim. He performs on a 1904 Riccardo Antoniazzi and a 2020 violin by Brooklyn-based maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz.
Mr. Lee joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. He also teaches at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.
Camden Shaw, cello
Camden Shaw is the cellist of the Dover Quartet, the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has appeared with the ensemble in performances all over the world to great acclaim. Mr. Shaw has collaborated in chamber music with such renowned artists as Daniel Hope, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and the late Leon Fleischer, and maintains an active career as a soloist. Highlights from recent seasons include a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, Op. 56 with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, where Shaw also holds the principal chair; and the release of his solo album by Unipheye Music, which was met with critical praise.
With the Dover Quartet Mr. Shaw won first prize and every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2013, and the gold medal and grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2010. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2010, where he studied with Peter Wiley. Other major teachers include Norman Fischer, David Finckel, and Steven Isserlis. He performs on an instrument made in 2010 by Frank Ravatin.
Mr. Shaw joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2020. He also teaches at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.