Staff Notes

Lark Dances

by Dr. Ellen FishmanPhoto by Julia Lehman “The Lark” quartet by Franz Joseph Haydn was one of the first string quartets I studied as a music student. In 2009, I was commissioned by Jeanne Ruddy Dance to write an electronic…

Lazy Sunday Covers

I put the Lazy Sunday Covers playlist together because I like to listen to acoustic versions of songs when I’m relaxing. I also love to hear what other artists do with material. I included some of the songs in the…

“Quarantunes”

When Spring Garden Records producer Starkey asked me to put together a “Quarantunes” playlist for the SGR Spotify page, my goal was to share some of the music that has touched, inspired, and spoken to me throughout my life. I listen to…

The Making of “Spoken with Strings”

Today we released our debut album “Spoken with Strings” on the Spring Garden Records label which describes  the album as “nine carefully chosen and artfully arranged selections from the contemporary pop canon as interpreted by the singular brilliance of players…

Program notes on Debussy’s String Quartet in g minor

Claude Debussy was a young composer in 1893. Just 31 years old, he was a relative unknown and had yet to make his mark. (That would happen the following year with his orchestral masterpiece, "Afternoon of a Faun.") Like most…

Program notes on Jennifer Higdon’s “Sky Quartet”

“When I began composing "Sky Quartet", I envisioned the wonder and immensity of the Western sky. This is especially appropriate since the Da Vinci Quartet resides in Colorado. Every time I've been west of the Mississippi, I've always marveled at…

She Persisted

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach was one of America’s foremost female composers, and the first American woman ever to have her music performed by the Boston Symphony. Her Gaelic Symphony was performed by them in 1896 when she was only twenty-nine…

Notes on Brahms Piano Quintet in f minor Op. 34: If at first you don’t succeed try, try again…

Johannes Brahms’ piano quintet had a long and difficult gestation. He composed it initially as a string quintet in 1862, modeling it after the great cello quintet of Franz Schubert. He sent the first three movements to his friends and…

Notes on Mozart’s String Quartet in Eb K.428 – the third child entrusted to Haydn

Mozart’s String Quartet in Eb, K. 428, one of six dedicated to Haydn, was written in the summer of 1783. In 1781, after meeting Haydn and hearing Haydn’s Op. 33 string quartets, Mozart was inspired to master this medium. These…

On Writing Danzon #2

“The idea of writing the Danzón No. 2 originated in 1993 during a trip to Malinalco with the painter Andrés Fonseca and the dancer Irene Martínez, both of whom are experts in salon dances with a special passion for the…

Notes on Shostakovich’s 3rd String Quartet

The String Quartet No. 3 in F major, opus 73, was the only work Dmitri Shostakovich composed in 1946. He was very pleased with it. He wrote to the second violinist and manager of the Beethoven Quartet, for whom he…

Notes on Amazing Grace

First heard by the public on New Years Day, 1773, the original hymn "Amazing Grace" was written by former slave ship captain and slave trader John Newton, later ordained by the Church of England. It was published in 1779 but…

Notes on the “Quinten”

One of my favorite days of the year is when we get together to decide on repertoire for the coming season. Last Spring at that meeting I immediately put in a request for this Haydn Quartet, wishing to revisit a…

What’s a Harmony for Humanity Concert?

The Fairmount String Quartet will perform our annual “Harmony for Humanity” concerts on Saturday, October 20th at 7:30 PM in the Chapel at the Presbyterian Church in Chestnut Hill and on Sunday, October 21st at 3:00 PM at All Saints Church…

The Restorative Power of “Prayer”

I recently experienced a phenomenon with my mom like nothing I’ve seen before. I had just finished creating the raw files for Alight, my recording project with the composer Amanda Harberg at the piano, and had them with me in my…

Wolf, Britten, Ravel and Wes Anderson?

On April 23rd, the Fairmount String Quartet will perform: Hugo Wolf - Italian SerenadeBenjamin Britten - Simple SymphonyMaurice Ravel - String Quartet in F I have been looking forward to this program all season! Three important works that I just…

Public Performances

Saturday, June 26th at 6:00 PM

Music at Philips Lane presents “Sky Dances”

The Fairmount String Quartet performs a magical program of works of
multiple genres uniting around feelings of joy, celebration, wonder, and reverie.
This is an outdoor event.

More information and tickets
20 Philips Lane
Newtown Square, PA

Kind Words

Friday evening’s performance…by the members of the Fairmount String Quartet was splendid…the playing was expert to the point of perfection.

Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local

From more classical music to fun contemporary songs, Fairmount Strings knocked it out of the park.

Alison F., bride

We are so grateful that Fairmount Strings made our wedding day vision come to life. 

Jocelyn G., bride

The quartet was magnificent and so very professional. One guest said the setting and the quartet made the ceremony storybook!

Joanne F., Bride

Last night the audience told you so well what I am trying to put into words now. Thank you for an unbelievably beautiful concert!

Alice Nugent, Candlelight Concerts at Laurel Hill

The beautiful sound of your music will stay with me always. It was simply stunning and made our day feel like a fairy tale.

Julie & Tom B., Bride and Groom

Adding to their laurels — professionalism, intuition and timeliness, we look forward to many future musical endeavors with the Fairmount Chamber Ensemble.

Kevin O’Malia, Director of Music, First United Methodist Church of Germantown

I made a point of standing off to the side in the back of the church to listen. It was….well….perfection.

Chris C., Mother of the Bride

It is such a privilege to work with musicians of their caliber who are so genuinely committed to supporting the growth and development of our students.

Stephen Kushner, Director of Choral Music, Germantown Friends School

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your beautiful performance, which helped to make the vision and dream I had for my daughter’s wedding day come true.

Jeanne B., Mother of the Bride

They are wonderful musicians, easy to work with, and deliver performances of consistently high quality.

Clair Rozier, Director of Music, St. David’s Episcopal Church

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