What’s In a Name?

In the case of the Juilliard String Quartet, a lot of history and a lot of cred. It has been around since 1946, won 4 Grammys and other awards, and is arguably the premiere American classical string quartet. They play classical rep as well as new and contemporary works, guaranteeing continued relevance, with impassioned and technically brilliant performances. For any 70+ year old group it helps to have periodic injections of new blood and there have been 16 superb musicians in this august group since its inception, the latest being cellist Astrid Schween who joined in 2016. JSQ is the resident quartet of the equally renowned Juilliard School and as the title suggests, education is a big part of their mission. They have visited Santa Barbara numerous times to give concerts and masterclasses that are both rigorous, informative and very helpful, giving students rare isights into the music they want to make a career out of playing. This year UCSB music Dept. students had the privilege of a delightful class with the newest JSQ member, Astrid Schween. It is often striking to hear the difference the suggestions and coaching make to the students’ playing.