In the hands of ETHEL, American music is alive and well.” (The Washington Post) Established in New York City in 1998, ETHEL quickly earned a reputation as one of America’s most adventurous string quartets. More than 20 years later, the band continues to set the standard for contemporary concert music.
At the heart of ETHEL is a collaborative ethos — a quest for a common creative expression that is forged in the celebration of community. The quartet creates and tours rich, often multimedia, productions including the evening-length ETHEL’s Documerica, inspired by the tens of thousands of images shot in the 1970’s as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s decade-long Project Documerica; The River, a collaboration with Taos Pueblo flutist Robert Mirabal; Grace, a journey highlighting musical iterations of redemption and featuring ETHEL’s own adaptation of Ennio Morricone’s moving score to the 1986 film, “The Mission”; Ancient Airs and Dances, a journey to European Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque Eras; and Circus – Wandering City, which explores the phenomenon of circus through the eyes and insights of people who have created its special thrills and illusions.
Since its inception, ETHEL has released nine feature recordings (one of them nominated for a Native American Music Award), premiered 225 compositions, performed as guests on 40+ albums, won a GRAMMY® with jazz legend Kurt Elling, and performed in 14 countries, 45 states, and 250 cities.
ETHEL is currently the Resident Ensemble at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Balcony Bar, Ensemble-in-Residence at Denison University, and 2019-20 Creatives-in- Residence at the Brooklyn Public Library. ETHEL is Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Corin Lee (violin).
“indefatigable and eclectic” (The New York Times)
“vital and brilliant” (The New Yorker)
“infectiously visceral” (Pitchfork)