The Arneis Quartet was formed in 2007 at Boston University under the tutelage of the Muir String Quartet. The ensemble?s namesake is the Arneis grape, which is an Italian varietal. Arneis (literally: little rascal, in Piedmontese) is so called because it is regarded as a somewhat difficult variety to grow, but with care and patience it can produce an exquisite wine, just as fastidious rehearsal of chamber music can yield great performances. The ensemble has been in residence at the Banff Centre in Canada, and has attended the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City, culminating in a performance at Lincoln Center. Arneis has coached with members of the Gryphon Trio and the Muir, Emerson, Brentano, Takacs, St. Lawrence, Juilliard, and Schoenberg quartets. Arneis has collaborated with violist Michelle LaCourse (as part of the Boston University Faculty Recital Series), pianist Stephen Prutsman and soprano Tony Arnold. Interdisciplinary projects are also of great interest to the quartet and the Arneis plans to pursue active relationships with literary and visual artists as well as musicologists and scholars from other disciplines.
The quartet also seeks to breathe new life into the classical repertoire by performing works of contemporary composers. Arneis will be premiering Donald Wheelock?s String Quartet No. 5 in the 2010-2011 season. The members of the ensemble are committed to outreach and education and are on the faculties of Boston University, the Dana Hall School of Music, Wellesley Public Schools, and the Chestnut Hill School. Each member also maintains an active private teaching studio, and Arneis is working to enlarge its ensemble outreach presentations to local schools and community groups. They can be heard regularly performing in concert halls at Boston University, St. Paul?s Church in Brookline and other venues in the greater Boston area. This season the quartet will also be performing in various venues in Michigan and Ohio on its Midwest Tour, and has been invited to participate in the Emerging Quartets and Composers Program in Park City, UT.