The Ulysses String Quartet has been praised for their “textural versatility,” “grave beauty,” “the kind of chemistry many quartets long for, but rarely achieve” (The Strad) as well as “avid enthusiasm ... [with] chops to back up their passion” (San Diego Story), “delivered with a blend of exuberance and polished artistry” (Buffalo News).
Founded in the summer of 2015, the group won first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition and the grand prize and gold medal in the senior string division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Ulysses also finished first in the American Prize and won second prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017. The quartet were most recently grand prize winners of the Vietnam International Music Competition in August 2019.
Consisting of Christina Bouey and Rhiannon Banerdt on violin, Colin Brookes on viola and Grace Ho on cello, the Ulysses Quartet were appointed Lisa Arnhold Fellows of the Juilliard School.
Hailing from Canada, the United States and Taiwan, the Ulysses String Quartet has performed in such prestigious halls such as the Harbin Grand Theatre, Jordan Hall, and the Taiwan National Recital Hall. Recent performance highlights have included their debut at Alice Tully Hall, along with appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and La Jolla Music Society Summerfest. Other notable recent engagements include Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Cecilia Concerts in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordan Hall, South Orange Performing Arts Center, Sprague Hall at Yale University, Mostly Music, Rhode Island Chamber Music Concerts, Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem, Premiere Performances Hong Kong, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Bargemusic, Eastman School of Music and the Vietnam Connection Music Festival.
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. The quartet is committed to sharing this passion by increasing access to and appreciation for classical music while enhancing audience engagement. To this end, the quartet offers interactive programs and workshops for all ages that serve to demystify the traditional repertoire while introducing audiences to exciting new works. Their programs frequently enable participants to learn about the inner workings of a string quartet, and to explore the connections between classical music and our world today.