The Ulysses String Quartet has been praised for their “textural versatility,” “grave beauty,” and “gentle blanket of colour,” (The Strad) as well as “avid enthusiasm ... [with] chops to back up their passion” and a “vibrant sonority” (San Diego Story).
Founded in the summer of 2015, the group won the grand prize and gold medal in the senior string division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Ulysses also finished first in the American Prize and won second prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017 and , first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition and the Grand Prize at the Vietnam Chamber Music Competition in 2019. The quartet garnered a career development grant in the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition. In 2019, they were named Graduate Quartet in Residence at the Juilliard School.
Hailing from Canada, the United States and Taiwan, the Ulysses String Quartet has performed in such prestigious halls such as the Harbin Grand Theatre, Jordan Hall, and the Taiwan National Recital Hall. Recent season highlights have included appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, debuts at Premiere Performances Hong Kong, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and the Vietnam Connection Festival, as well as a quartet residency for the Zukerman Young Artist Program. Upcoming engagements include a debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Buffalo Chamber Music Society, and the Eastman School of Music. For the last three years, Ulysses was in residence at the Louis Moreau Institute in New Orleans, working with the composer Morris Rosenzweig. As a special project, the group will record the quartets of composer Joseph Summer at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, over the next several years.
The group’s name pays homage to Homer’s hero Odysseus and his 10-year voyage home.
Additionally, the quartet’s members live in close proximity to the resting place of former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in Upper Manhattan. The Ulysses String Quartet believes intensely in the power of music to inspire, enlighten and bring people together. The quartet is committed to sharing this passion by increasing access to and appreciation for classical music while enhancing audience engagement. To this end, the quartet offers interactive programs and workshops for all ages that serve to demystify the traditional repertoire while introducing audiences to exciting new works. Their programs frequently enable participants to learn about the inner workings of a string quartet, and to explore the connections between classical music and our world today.
The members of Ulysses hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and Yale University. The musicians perform on instruments and bows graciously on loan from the Canada Council of the Arts Instrument Bank and the Maestro Foundation.