“the New York ensemble performed it with romantic élan and grace — each of its members’ solos tackled with utmost taste and technical precision.”
Palm Beach Daily News
“From the first suave, utterly blended opening notes of Franz Joseph Haydn’s D minor Quartet (“Fifths”) to the tricky rhythms and changeable moods of Johannes Brahms’ Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2, this quartet offered up some of the most beautiful playing I’ve heard.”
The Reading Eagle
“The entire performance was splendidly coordinated with contrasts of dynamics and tempo vividly detailed.”
South Florida Classical Review
Frank Huang, Concertmaster
Qianqian Li, Principal Second Violin
Cynthia Phelps, Principal Viola
Carter Brey, Principal Cello
The New York Philharmonic String Quartet comprises four Principal musicians from the Orchestra: Concertmaster Frank Huang (The Charles E. Culpeper Chair); Principal Second Violin Qianqian Li; Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps (The Mr. and Mrs. Frederick P. Rose Chair); and Principal Cello Carter Brey (The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Chair). The group was formed in January 2017, during the Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary season; the New York Philharmonic String Quartet made its debut as the solo ensemble in John Adams’s Absolute Jest in New York in March 2017, and reprised the work on the Orchestra’s EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour. All four members are multiple prize winners, have appeared as concerto soloists with the Philharmonic and orchestras around the world, and have appeared frequently in the Philharmonic’s chamber music series at David Geffen Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.
Frank Huang has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and Caramoor. He frequently participates in Musicians from Marlboro’s tours, and was selected by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to be a member of the prestigious Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two). Before joining the Houston Symphony as concertmaster in 2010, Frank Huang held the position of first violinist of the Grammy Award–winning Ying Quartet.
Violinist Qianqian Li has performed at major music festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood, Yellow Barn, and Sarasota. Before joining the New York Philharmonic, she served as a member of the first violin section of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for three years, after winning positions with the orchestras of Seattle, Atlanta, and St. Paul in the same period. She has also performed in the Boston, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta symphony orchestras and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Her honors include First Prize at Kazakhstan’s inaugural International Violin Competition, the Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Ishikawa Music Academy Award, and prizes won with the Clara Piano Trio, of which she was a member for one year.
Cynthia Phelps performs with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Jupiter Chamber Players, and the Santa Fe, La Jolla, Seattle, Chamber Music Northwest, and Bridgehampton festivals. She has appeared with the Guarneri, Tokyo, Orion, American, Brentano, and Prague Quartets, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. She is also a founding member of the chamber group Les Amies, a flute-harp-viola group with Philharmonic Principal Harp Nancy Allen and flutist Carol Wincenc.
Carter Brey has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals such as Spoleto (both in the United States and Italy), and the Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals. He and pianist Christopher O’Riley recorded Le Grand Tango: Music of Latin America, a disc of compositions from South America and Mexico released on Helicon Records.