About the Diller-Quaile String Quartet (DQSQ)


Outreach Classical AccessEnsemble-in-Residence of The Diller-Quaile School of Music, DQSQ was founded by Philip Hough in 1988. The Quartet performs a series of three free concerts at Diller-Quaile each season and has participated in chamber music series in the United States and South America. In addition to presenting masterworks from the standard string quartet repertoire, DQSQ has performed new works by contemporary composers, including David Loeb, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Jeremy Beck, Eric Ewazen, and Tomas Ulrich. In 2003, the Quartet commissioned and premiered renowned Brazilian composer Raimundo Penaforte’s Quarteto 3. In 2006, DQSQ commissioned and premiered Eric Ewazen’s Quartet No. 2 WindSwept performing both at Diller-Quaile and The Juilliard School. Recently, DQSQ has recorded over 60 examples of Benjamin Britten’s unpublished juvenilia for the online Thematic Catalogue of the Britten-Pears Library in Aldeburgh, England.       

Through its Classical Access and Senior Centers Partnership, DQSQ introduces the joys of chamber music to young people and seniors who otherwise might not be exposed to this repertoire. During the course of the year, the DQSQ performs in after school centers, public schools, libraries, and senior centers throughout the Metropolitan area.


2015-2016 Concert Series


Concert #1DQSQ
Friday, November 6, 2015
7:30 pm
Mozart String Quartet in Bb, K. 458
Shostakovich String Quartet  in F# minor, Op. 108

Concert #2
Friday, February 12, 2016
7:30 pm

Concert #3
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
7:30 pm


Quartet Members


ULI SPETH (Violin)
A native of Germany, Mr. Speth completed his undergraduate work at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and received his Master’s of Music from Mannes College of Music, where he was a student of Felix Galimir, from whom he received both private lessons and string quartet training. As a soloist, chamber musician and orchestra player, Mr. Speth has performed throughout Europe and recorded for Austrian and Italian radio. Since 1996, he has also performed as first violinist in over 25 New York City Opera productions. Mr. Speth has been active as a soloist in 2002, performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with New York based chamber orchestra “Musica Bella,” and joined recitals of Paul Coletti, Lara St. John, Lars Frandsen and Richard Savino. Recently he has been a guest artist with the Cavaliere Quartet of Salzburg, Austria and has performed in Appalachian Spring at the Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival.


Philip Hough is a graduate of Mannes College of Music, where he studied with Isadore Cohen of the Beaux Arts Trio. He also studied violin with Louise Behrend and Joey Corpus, and composition with David Loeb. Mr. Hough holds a B.F.A. from Cooper Union, Diploma Violin from Mannes College of Music, and an M.A. in composition from Hunter College. Head of the String Department of The Diller-Quaile School of Music and founding member of the resident Diller-Quaile String Quartet, he is also on the violin faculty of the School for Strings in New York and the string faculty of the Saint David’s School.


Jack Rosenberg received his degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, under the instruction of Lillian Fuchs. In chamber music, Mr. Rosenberg has played in many string and mixed ensembles and has toured Europe and the Orient with Orpheus, The New York City Opera, and The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. As a member of the New York Chamber Symphony under Gerald Schwarz, Mr. Rosenberg administered the education program where he developed interactive projects for school children, culminating in his own performance as narrator in Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale.”


Cellist-Composer Tomas Ulrich received music degrees from Boston University and the Manhattan School of Music. In addition to his classical music activities, Mr. Ulrich has performed and recorded with such artists as Anthony Davis, Joe Lovano, Alice and Ravi Coltrane, Anthony Braxton, McCoy Tyner, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Merchant and many others. He has written music for film, theater and instrumental performance and he can be heard on over 100 CDS in a wide variety of musical styles and settings. Tomas has performed throughout Europe, Japan, South America, Canada and the United States. Jay Collins from Signal to Noise has written that “Tomas Ulrich is surely one of the most accomplished and intriguing cellists in improvised music, with a brilliant technical mastery and ability to play prickly improv, jazz, classical, film music or pretty much anything he desires.”


Britten Recording Project


Creativity and the Artistic Imagination, values affirmed in the Diller-Quaile mission statement, are central to the music and life of the great twentieth century British composer, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976). Britten began playing the piano at age five and was composing at six. By the time of his official Op. 1 at age nineteen, he had written over 750 works, ranging from short sketches to full scale symphonic and choral compositions.

Britten’s early works (juvenilia) are housed in his former residence in Aldeburgh, UK and are currently being recorded and cataloged as a part of the online Britten Thematic Catalogue of all of Britten’s work to be officially published in Summer 2013, coinciding with the celebration of Britten’s Centenary.

Since 2008, DQSQ has collaborated with the Britten-Pears Foundation to record the remaining examples or ‘incipits’ for string quartet, over sixty in number. This past school year, 2011-2012, Diller-Quaile entered the second phase of the project, in which members of the Diller-Quaile String Quartet were joined by members of the Diller-Quaile faculty to record works for piano and strings.

In February 2012, Diller-Quaile faculty violinist Uli Speth, violist Jack Rosenberg, and pianist Jing Li recorded world premieres of two complete works for piano trio, including Bagatelle and the first of Two Pieces from 1929, written when Britten was sixteen years old. It is hoped that extracts from these recordings will be used as part of a BBC Radio 3 program on Britten’s Juvenilia, to be broadcast in the United Kingdom during 2013.

In June 2012, Diller-Quaile faculty pianist Jing Li, violinist Morganne Aaberg, and pianist Douglas Lima recorded a total of 49 incipits from works for violin and piano, and solo piano. This session included world premiere recordings of two complete works from 1931, Going down hill on a bicycle and The Moon, both recently published by the Britten-Pears Foundation’s new online publishing initiative EBB Music Publishing. All recordings were made in the Diller-Quaile Performance Space and can be heard at www.brittenproject.org (search diller-quaile).

This latest phase brings the total number of incipits recorded by The Diller-Quaile School of Music to 114, making Diller-Quaile the most significant contributor to the Britten Foundation’s Thematic Catalogue Recording Project.

DQSQ Recording1