The Apple Hill String Quartet has earned accolades from around the world for their interpretive mastery of such traditional repertoire as Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven, and Ravel — along with their special dedication to seldom heard masterworks and contemporary music. They have performed concerts extensively throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia as part of Apple Hill’s innovative Playing for Peace program. Education is an integral part of the quartet’s mission — therefore they have conducted mini-residencies in embassies, communities, schools and universities locally in the Monadnock region, nationally in the major U.S. cities, and throughout the world in such faraway places as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Algiers, Cyprus, Ireland, England, Burma, Vietnam, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia. They also spend countless hours as dedicated teacher-performers at Apple Hill’s renowned Summer Chamber Music Workshop, held each summer on the 100-acre Apple Hill campus.
As 21st-century musicians, the quartet is deeply committed to the commissioning of new works. Their recent commission by composer and long-time “Apple Hiller” Daniel Sedgwick was premiered at Apple Hill in 2009 and performed to critical acclaim throughout the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. Their project, “Around the World with Playing for Peace™", features the rich multicultural repertoire of works and compositions associated with countries visited through the Playing for Peace™ program, as seen through the lens of the string quartet. Featured composers have included Victor Ullman (String Quartet #3, written in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp), Turkish composer Ekrem Zeki Ün, Armenian composers Alan Hovhaness and A. Zohrabian, Syrian composer Kareem Roustom, and American composers Roger Sessions, John Harbison, Tom Oboe Lee, Larry Siegel, and Charles Ives.
The quartet is comprised of Elise Kuder and Colleen Jennings, violins, Michael Kelley, viola, and Rupert Thompson, violoncello.