Orion String Quartet
© Lois Greenfield
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Since its inception, the Orion String Quartet has been consistently praised for the fresh perspective and individuality it brings to performances, offering diverse programs that juxtapose classic works of the standard quartet literature with masterworks by twentieth and twenty-first century composers. The Quartet remains on the cutting edge of programming with wide-ranging commissions from composers Chick Corea, Brett Dean, David Del Tredici, Alexander Goehr, Thierry Lancino, John Harbison, Leon Kirchner, Marc Neikrug, Lowell Liebermann, Peter Lieberson and Wynton Marsalis, and enjoys a creative partnership with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. The members of the Orion String Quartet—violinists Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips (brothers who share the first violin chair equally), violist Steven Tenenbom and cellist Timothy Eddy—have worked closely with such legendary figures as Pablo Casals, Sir András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Peter Serkin, members of TASHI and the Beaux Arts Trio, as well as the Budapest, Végh, Galimir and Guarneri String Quartets. The Orion serves as Artist Members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Quartet-in-Residence at New York's Mannes College of Music.
The Quartet appears at the Ravinia Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival and Music Mountain with pianist Peter Serkin performing Dvorák and Brahms Piano Quintets. They also perform at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, where they have become distinguished for commissions and unusual works by major composers. The Quartet is pleased to join the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company for two performances in September of its iconic D-Man in the Waters (Part I) as part of Fall for Dance at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
Highlights of their 2014-15 season include a European tour with concerts in Germany, Madrid, Bilbao and the Wigmore Hall in London. Their critical acclaim in performances of Haydn's String Quartets have made this composer central in many programs this season. Returning to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, they perform a program of Haydn, Webern and Reger's Piano Quartet with longtime musical partner Peter Serkin. Other U.S. appearances bring them to Yale with Windscape and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center where they perform four Haydn Quartets as part of the Society's winter festival called Intimate Expressions.
The ensemble celebrated its 25th anniversary in the 2012-2013 season with a collaboration involving the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at New York City's Joyce Theater for a special two-week project featuring musical excerpts and arrangements of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Ravel and Schubert. WQXR's The Greene Space presented a live-broadcast of the collaboration with performance and conversation by the Quartet and Bill T. Jones.
Heard on National Public Radio's Performance Today, the Orion has also appeared on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center, A&E's Breakfast with the Arts, and three times on ABC-TV's Good Morning America. Additionally, the Quartet was photographed with Drew Barrymore by Annie Leibovitz for the April 2005 issue of Vogue.
Formed in 1987, the Quartet chose its name from the Orion constellation as a metaphor for the unique personality each musician brings to the group in its collective pursuit of the highest musical ideals.