Carpe Diem is a boundary-breaking ensemble that has earned widespread critical and audience acclaim for its innovative programming and electrifying performances. With programming that reflects its passions for Gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music alongside the traditional string quartet repertoire, the quartet continues to rack up accolades and awards.
For three consecutive years, Carpe Diem was the only quartet in America chosen to receive the prestigious PNC Foundation’s ArtsAlive Awards, and they have received rave reviews:
The Carpe Diem’s performance of Beethoven’s Op. 59 No. 1 quartet (one of the hardest in the repertoire) had everything: care with dynamics and accents, timing of nuances, clarity of voice-leading and the widest ranges of character in each movement. This was one of the finest performances of a quartet standard I’ve heard in years.
Among these contemporary quartets who speak in different tongues, the Carpe Diem is the best one out there.
When it came time to deliver the most compositionally and emotionally complex music ever written, their imagination and instrumental skill took them to a different level entirely.
... The Carpe Diem Quartet, appearing at the Dumbarton Church, was extraordinary.
—The Washington Post
Carpe Diem seeks out, and is sought after by, artists from many different genres for collaborations. Carpe Diem’s diverse musical partnerships include American singer/songwriter/ guitarist Willy Porter—the CD of their live concert debut continues to receive accolades—as well as Latin Grammy winner/bandoneón player Raul Juarena, klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, cellist Yo Yo Ma, banjo virtuoso and Canadian Folk Music “Artist of the Year” Jayme Stone, Dixieland trumpeter Tom Battenberg, Chinese pipa player Yihan Chen, and world master of the Persian santoor Dariush Saghafi.
The quartet is the resident ensemble for Columbus Dance Theatre, and their joint project The String Machine was aired by WOSU-PBS television through 2007- 2008, and nominated for an Emmy award. The quartet has a busy recording schedule, and continues its project of recording the nine string quartets of Sergey Taneyev for the Naxos label.
Carpe Diem champions the music of living composers, and has commissioned, premiered, and performed works from a broad and stylistically diverse range of various composers including Frank Bennett, Danny Elfman, Ken Fuchs, Korine Fujiwara, Osvaldo Golijov, Andre Hajdu, Donald Harris, Jennifer Higdon, Jonathan Leshnoff, Nicholas Maw, William Thomas McKinley, Clancy Newman, Carter Pann, Kevin Putts, Eric Sawyer, Gunther Schuller, Richard Smoot, Bradley Sowash, Lawrence Dillon, and Bruce Wolosoff, among others. Carpe Diem is committed to pushing the limits of the classical string quartet and to changing the concert experience of chamber music. Using innovative programming, thematic concerts, popular music for younger generations, cameras and video to assist in the visual presentation, as well as speaking from the stage to better engage the audience, Carpe Diem is bringing new audiences into the concert hall and revitalizing the chamber music experience.