Dover Quartet and Joseph Conyers, double bass
Available in 2022–23 and 2023–24
Repertoire includes Dvořák’s String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 77
The Dover Quartet collaborates with double bassist Joseph Conyers beginning in the 2022–23 season to perform Antonín Dvořák’s String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 77. Mr. Conyers, also a Curtis graduate, is acting associate principal double bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra and founder of the Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization Project 440, which uses music as a tool to engage, educate, and inspire young musicians.
Joel Link, violin
Bryan Lee, violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola
Camden Shaw, cello
Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the GRAMMY® nominated Dover Quartet has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. In addition to its faculty role as the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Its prestigious honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.
The Dover Quartet’s active 2021–22 season includes world premiere performances of Marc Neikrug’s Piano Quintet No. 2 at the Kennedy Center with Haochen Zhang, Chris Rogerson’s Dream Sequence for Santa Fe Pro Musica with Anne-Marie McDermott, and Steven Mackey’s theatrical musical work Memoir at Artosphere with arx duo and narrator Natalie Christa. Other recent and upcoming artist collaborations include performances with the Escher String Quartet, Bridget Kibbey, the Pavel Haas Quartet, and Davóne Tines. The quartet has also recently collaborated with artists including Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnaton, Ray Chen, Edgar Meyer, Anthony McGill, the late Peter Serkin, and Roomful of Teeth.
Cedille Records released the second of three volumes of the quartet’s recording of the Beethoven Complete String Quartets in October 2021. Strad described the highly acclaimed recordings as “meticulously balanced, technically clean-as-a-whistle and intonationally immaculate.” Their recording of Encores was also released in 2021 on the Brooklyn Classical label. The quartet’s GRAMMY® nominated recording of The Schumann Quartets was released by Azica Records in 2019. Cedille Records released the Dover Quartet’s Voices of Defiance: 1943, 1944, 1945 in October 2017; and an all-Mozart debut recording in the 2016–17 season, featuring the late Michael Tree, violist of the Guarneri Quartet. Voices of Defiance, which explores works written during World War II by Viktor Ullman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Simon Laks, was lauded upon its release as “undoubtedly one of the most compelling discs released this year” (Wall Street Journal).
The Dover Quartet draws from the lineage of the distinguished Guarneri, Cleveland, and Vermeer quartets. Its members studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where they were mentored extensively by Shmuel Ashkenasi, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Joseph Silverstein, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, and Peter Wiley. It was at Curtis that the Dover Quartet formed, and its name pays tribute to Dover Beach by fellow Curtis alumnus Samuel Barber.
The Dover Quartet proudly endorses Thomastik-Infeld strings.
Joseph Conyers was appointed assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010 and has been acting associate principal since 2017. He previously held tenures with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; the Grand Rapids Symphony, where he served as principal bass; and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.
Mr. Conyers has performed with many orchestras as soloist, including the Alabama, Flagstaff, and Richmond symphony orchestras; the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, having won second prize at the 2004 Sphinx Competition. In 2008 John B Hedges wrote a concerto for him—Prayers of Rain and Wind—commissioned by the Grand Rapids Symphony.
Mr. Conyers is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Other chamber music festivals and collaborations have included the Ilumina Festival, the Festival Internacional de Música de Esmeraldas, and chamber music festivals in Savannah, Charlottesville, Kingston, and Lexington.
In 2019 Mr. Conyers received the Sphinx Organization’s Medal of Excellence. In 2018 he received the C. Hartman Kuhn Award from the Philadelphia Orchestra and was named one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year. In 2015 he was the recipient of the inaugural Young Alumni Award from the Curtis Institute of Music, and in 2007 was named one of “30 Leaders 30 and Under” by Ebony magazine. In 1999 he was one of the first guests on a pilot taping of NPR’s From the Top.
Mr. Conyers has served as adjunct faculty at Calvin University and Clark Atlanta University. He is currently on the faculty at Temple University and has been music director of Philadelphia’s All City Orchestra since 2015. He has taught at numerous summer music festivals including the Philadelphia International Music Festival, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Academy, and the National Repertory Orchestra. He has given master classes and lectures across the country, including at the Colburn School, the Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Yale University, Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and Peabody Conservatory.
Mr. Conyers is the founder of the nonprofit Project 440. Through its nationally recognized curricula, Project 440 uses music as a tool to engage, educate, and inspire young musicians, providing them with care and life skills to become tomorrow’s civic-minded, entrepreneurial leaders.
Mr. Conyers received his bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with both Harold Robinson and Edgar Meyer. Other mentors have included David Warshauer, Daniel Swaim, and Albert Laszlo. He performs on the “Zimmerman/Gladstone” 1802 Vincenzo Panormo double bass, which he has affectionately named “Norma.”