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Turtle Island

Turtle Island String Quartet

One of the most exciting ensembles in classical music, this quartet has redefined the term “classical crossover.” The group fuses the classical quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles, and their recent project finds them exploring the vast musical terrain of Jimi Hendrix. Violinists David Balakrishnan and Mads Tolling, violist Jeremy Kittel, and cellist Mark Summer are the recipients of Grammy awards in 2006 and 2008 in the Classical Crossover category.

Keep up with the TISQ at their website

An interesting element inherent in the group’s philosophy is the incorporation of improvisation into their music. The improvisatory element, an important performance practice of the Baroque period and highly regarded when Joseph Haydn put together the first string quartets in the late 18th Century, seems a forgotten art among “classically trained” musicians. The TISQ makes this an integral part of their sound, adding another layer to their crossing of cultural boundaries.

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“It must have been like this when Beethoven was taking Vienna by storm- the exhilaration of seeing the future of classical music unfold before your eyes and ears.” -St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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