Known for their exciting stage presence and cohesive sound, Saskatchewan-based Crimson String Quartet (Audrey Sproule and Alvin Tran, violins; Laurence Schaufele, viola; Alyssa Ramsay, cello) is one of Canada’s most exciting young ensembles. Formed in 2010 at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, the Crimson String Quartet is dedicated to bringing chamber music to the masses.
They have received coachings and masterclasses from: Mark Fewer, Douglas McNabney, and Jaap ter Linden, among others. Members of the ensemble have attended and received degrees from: McGill University, Glenn Gould School, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Montréal, Boise State University and Mount Royal University. Looking for fresh and innovative concert settings, the Crimson String Quartet has performed in schools, retirement homes, short films, bars, on cruises and has even spearheaded flash mobs in downtown Montréal. Committed to the standard quartet literature and undaunted by other styles such as pop and jazz, their repertoire is diverse and constantly growing.
In November 2010, the CSQ were finalists for the Jeunesses Musicales “2012 Concerts for the Grand Public Tour”. Crimson String Quartet’s debut album Crimson Sunrise was released in 2012 to significant acclaim. A collaboration with McGill University’s Sound Recording Area, the album features quartet pieces by Haydn, Shostakovich, as well as a couple of pop arrangements. Crimson String Quartet is proud to be recording artists for McGill Records.
In May of 2012, the Crimson String Quartet embarked on their 2012 Discovery Tour in Southern Saskatchewan. They performed over twenty-five school concerts and four community concerts. These performances have been described as an “educational journey through classical music.” While in Saskatchewan, they were featured on CBC Radio Canada in a nation-wide live performance and interview. The quartet returns to Saskatchewan annually, fostering new audiences through innovative CSQ Rural Residencies and support from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, community leaders, and local arts enthusiasts. This summer, the quartet celebrates its sixth-year anniversary with their fifth Western Canada tour, through which they continue to build upon tenants of accessibility, artistry, and connection through chamber music.