The Ulysses Quartet has been praised for their “textural versatility,” “grave beauty” and “the kind of chemistry many quartets long for, but rarely achieve” (The Strad), as well as their “avid enthusiasm…[with] chops to back up their passion” (San Diego Story), “delivered with a blend of exuberance and polished artistry” (The Buffalo News).
Founded in the summer of 2015, the group won the grand prize and gold medal in the senior string division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition. In 2017, the quartet won The American Prize in Chamber Music Performance and took second prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. They were winners of the Vietnam International Music Competition in 2019. Ulysses garnered a career development grant in the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition.
At Juilliard, they are the Lisa Arnhold Fellows, serving as the School’s Graduate Resident String Quartet, an appointment that has been extended through May 2022. From 2016 to 2019, Ulysses was in residence at the Louis Moreau Institute in New Orleans, working with composer Morris Rosenzweig.
The quartet’s members, Christina Bouey and Rhiannon Banerdt on violin, Colin Brookes on viola and Grace Ho on cello, hail from Canada, the United States and Taiwan. They have performed in such prestigious halls as the Harbin Grand Theatre, Jordan Hall and the Taiwan National Recital Hall. Recent performance highlights have included their debut at Alice Tully Hall and appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Naumburg Orchestral Concerts.
Ulysses recently completed work on their debut album, to be released later this year, and four more albums are forthcoming in the near future, including collaborations with flutist Ransom Wilson and guitarist Ben Verdery, as well as albums of quartet works. As a special project, the group will record the quartets of composer Joseph Summer at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, over the next several years.
The group’s name pays homage to Homer’s hero Odysseus and his 10-year voyage home. Additionally, the quartet’s members live in close proximity to the resting place of former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in Upper Manhattan. The Ulysses String Quartet believes intensely in the power of music to inspire, enlighten and bring people together. This is the guiding principle of the Ulysses Quartet Foundation, dedicated to the performance and promotion of classical music of the past and present day to benefit the broadest possible audience of music lovers and potential music lovers by expanding their understanding and appreciation of the musical arts. The quartet also offers interactive programs and workshops for all ages that serve to demystify the traditional repertoire while introducing audiences to diverse programming.
The members of Ulysses hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and Yale University. The musicians perform on instruments and bows graciously on loan from the Juilliard School and the Maestro Foundation. Ulysses is grateful for the support of Shar Music and Connolly Music.
Aaron is a gifted singer-songwriter from Naples, NY who has been a professional musician since age 16.
Anya Wilkening has studied violin since she was 5 years of age and continues her musical engagement as a performer, scholar and teacher of music.
ATLYS is a four-woman, classically trained, unique crossover string quartet.
Canadian violinist Christina Bouey is hailed by The New York Times for playing “beautifully,” described by the New York Post reviewer as having “spun out…[a] shimmering tune.”
From 1999 until its final season in 2013, Mr. Greensmith was a member of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet.
Praised as “master of the strong lines,” concert violist Colin Brookes is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he made his solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at the age of 17