Founded in 1967, the Sarasota String Quartet (formerly known as the Florida String Quartet) is one of Florida’s premier ensembles and a favorite among area music lovers. For over thirty years the group has performed throughout the State of Florida, and has been a regular participant in the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs’ State Touring Program.
One of four resident ensembles of the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota String Quartet performs chamber music as part of the Salon Series at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. In 2002, they presented the world premiere of Paul Ramsier’s Zoo of Dreams II, commissioned by the Florida West Coast Symphony. During the 2001-2002 season, they collaborated with New College in the performance of works written by student composers.
Milestones in the Quartet’s history include a successful New York debut, and performances at the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. In 1992 the Quartet marked its twenty-fifth anniversary season with the release of its first compact disc, featuring the three string quartets of Soulima Stravinsky. These quartets, dedicated to the Sarasota String Quartet, and Stravinsky’s “Sonata” for cello and piano, featuring Christopher Pegis and Elisha Gilgore, have been released on the Centaur label.
Current ensemble members include: Daniel Jordan, concertmaster (1998); Christopher Takeda, associate concertmaster (2005); Steven Laraia, acting principal viola (2015); Natalie Helm, principal cello (2016, not pictured).