The Ciompi Quartet was founded at Duke University in 1965 by the renowned Italian violinist Giorgio Ciompi. All its members serve on Duke’s faculty and play a leading role in the cultural life of the University, in addition to traveling widely throughout the year for performances. Concerts by the Ciompi Quartet are known for their intelligence and musical sophistication, and for a warm, unified sound that is enhanced by the players’ strong individual voices. With a rare maturity and insight born of wide experience on the concert stage, the Ciompi Quartet projects the heart and soul of the music, in a repertoire that ranges from well-known masterpieces to works by today’s most communicative composers.
The Ciompi Quartet has played on five continents, in Europe, China, Latin America, Australia, and Israel. Recent US concerts have ranged from Washington State to New York City. The Ciompi members excel as communicators and are frequent choice for residencies in many settings, ranging from colleges to inner city and rural schools. Recent musical collaborations have included the distinguished talents of pianists Menahem Pressler and James Tocco, cellist Ronald Leonard, oboist Joseph Robinson, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, soprano Susan Narucki, and jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. The latter four performed world premieres with the Ciompi Quartet, reflecting the Quartet’s commitment to creative programming, which often mixes the old and the brand new in exciting ways.
The Quartet’s extensive record of commissions includes many strong works that it continues to play on tour. A recent commission from composer Paul Schoenfield yielded a major new work for the quartet; Scott Lindroth’s song cycle on text by the poet Rumi, written for the Ciompi and Ms. Narucki, is an exciting addition to the repertoire for quartet and voice; two works by Mark Kuss have brought together the Ciompi Quartet with well-known jazz artists Marsalis and Freelon.