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Phone: 212-414-8050
331 West 57th St

New York
New York 10019

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Target demographics: ETHEL reaches audiences inside and outside traditional concert demographics. Number and composition vary according to the variety of venues in which the group performs and are generally younger and more diverse than is typical for contemporary concert music.

Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: help us with anything from office work to marketing to fundraising, it just depends on their skills and interests!

Geographic areas served: Based in New York City; quartet tours U.S. and abroad

Programs: PERFORMANCES AND PROJECTS: ETHEL's Foundation supports contemporary concert music through exciting, innovative performances by the string quartet in collaboration with an exhilarating array of composers and musicians. ETHEL has been working since 2006 on TruckStop®, our ambitious collaborative commissioning and compositional initiative inspired by the rich musical and cultural diversity we’ve observed during our over ten seasons of touring.

COMMISSIONING: ETHEL's Foundation has developed a robust commissioning program for mid-career and established composers, which in ten years has generated more than 40 new works from diverse voices including Phil Kline, Julia Wolfe, and Neil Rolnick. The Foundation also commissions innovative emerging composers, and to that end, we recently launched ETHEL’s HomeBaked to commission younger artists who live and work in ETHEL's hometown of New York City. ETHEL's HomeBaked captures new and distinct flavors in the quartet's own artistic research kitchen. Commissioned artists to date include Andy Akiho, Anna Clyne, Matt Marks and Judd Greenstein.

EDUCATION: ETHEL's Foundation supports Native American Composers Apprentice Project (NACAP). Since 2005, ETHEL has been quartet-in-residence at NACAP, a project of the Grand Canyon Music Festival. Every September, ETHEL tours schools on Navajo and Hopi reservations in the Four Corners region to work with young Native American composers. The Foundation helps to support a range of residency activities by ETHEL to inspire and encourage younger musicians. These programs include lectures, workshops, performances and master classes at colleges, music schools and universities. Topics include improvisation, composition, and collaboration.


ETHEL performs free and affordable concerts throughout the year. In 2009-2010, the quartet is featured at several free concerts in the outer boroughs of New York City as part of the acclaimed Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series. ETHEL also embraces new technology to expand audiences through initiatives such as ETHEL's Listening Library, an online archive where web visitors can listen to new music for free, increasing the composers' outreach and visibility. Material from the Listening Library will be the core of quarterly online podcasts that will introduce contemporary concert music to an ever-widening audience via the web.

The mission of ETHEL’s Foundation for the Arts, founded by the string quartet ETHEL, is to inspire and create music for the 21st century by presenting adventurous performances; commissioning established and emerging composers; educating young musicians through innovative methodologies; and expanding audiences through outreach and new technologies.
ETHEL's 2012-13 season commences with a nationwide tour of “Tell Me Something Good,” a celebration of the culture and sounds of the 1970s featuring rock icon Todd Rundgren. Other highlights include: a preliminary performance/workshop of “ETHEL’s Documerica” as part of the Park Avenue Armory’s week-long “Under Construction” series in New York City; the world premiere in the Netherlands of “Cross Avenue;” a new work by composers Jeroen Strijbos and Rob van Rijswijk; collaborative projects and concerts with virtuoso guitarist Kaki King; ongoing performances with Native American flutist Robert Mirabal; appearances as the official house band of TEDxManhattan; performances as the Resident Ensemble at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Balcony Bar; and newly commissioned works by Mary Ellen Childs, Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, Ulysses Owens Jr., James "Kimo" Williams, Hannis Brown, Lainie Fefferman and Dan Friel.

Off-stage, ETHEL continues to receive acclaim for its third album, Heavy (Innova Recordings, 2012), which has been described as “another beautiful reality of contemporary music” (All About Jazz).

Over the past three years, ETHEL has premiered over 50 new works by 20th- and 21st-century composers, including pieces that were commissioned by the quartet or composed by ETHEL. Recent premieres and noteworthy performances include: Phil Kline’s SPACE at the gala reopening of Alice Tully Hall; RADIO by Osvaldo Golijov at the debut of WNYC Radio’s Jerome L. Greene Space; ETHEL’s TruckStop®: The Beginning at BAM’s Next Wave Festival; ETHEL Fair: The Songwriters at opening night of Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival; WAIT FOR GREEN with choreography by Annie-B Parson, commissioned by arts>World Financial Center; ETHEL's HonBiBaekSan by Dohee Lee at Meet the Composer’s 3-City Dash Festival; ETHEL’s HomeBaked series featuring commissioned works by emerging NYC composers Andy Akiho, Anna Clyne, Judd Greenstein and Matt Marks, as well as premieres by Rick Baitz and Randall Woolf at the Tribeca New Music Festival; and works by contemporary music luminaries such as Julia Wolfe, John Zorn, Steve Reich, John King, Raz Mesinai, David Lang, Scott Johnson, Kenji Bunch, Don Byron, Marcelo Zarvos and Evan Ziporyn.

ETHEL has initiated innovative collaborations with an extraordinary community of international artists that include David Byrne, Bang on a Can, Kaki King, Ursula Oppens, Loudon Wainwright III, STEW, Ensemble Modern, Jill Sobule, Dean Osborne, Howard Levy, Joshua Fried, Andrew Bird, Iva Bittová, Colin Currie, Thomas Dolby, Jeff Peterson, Steve Coleman, Stephen Gosling, Jake Shimabukuro and Polygraph Lounge. ETHEL has appeared as a guest artist on a dozen music labels and was recently featured on: A Map of the Floating City by Thomas Dolby (2012); The Duke by Joe Jackson (2012); John the Revelator: A Mass for Six Voices by Phil Kline (Cantaloupe Music, 2008) with vocal group Lionheart; and the Grammy Award-winning Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman (Concord Records, 2009). The quartet also serves as the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Grand Canyon Music Festival as part of the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project. ETHEL recorded Oshtali: Music for String Quartet (Thunderbird Records, 2010), the first commercial recording of American Indian student works.

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If anyone ever assumed chamber music was for fuddy-duddies, they would completely get over it if they witnessed Ethel at work. Ethel makes chamber music feel as physical and intense as the shreddingest rock music -- without sacrificing any artistry or delicacy. They're the future, and future sounds ... more »
I was fortunate enough to look after Ethel when they performed in the Melbourne International Festival for the Arts (Australia) a few years ago. I also saw them perform in the 10 Days on an Island Festival, Tasmania (also in Australia) in 2009. They are the most talented musicians, creating a really... more »
The players in Ethel have unique and generous personalities and a vivacity and authenticity in the way they share music. This communicates to people of all ages who are interested in music that is living, both in that it is newly composed and that it is in touch with a broad range of styles. I ... more »
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