Praised as a “vital force among chamber music ensembles,” the Rossetti String Quartet is renowned for its highly sophisticated, sensual sound and extensive range of colors. The Quartet’s compelling stage presence and fresh, innovative style has won its members a devoted following throughout the United States and Europe.
Highlights from recent seasons include San Francisco Performances, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Music Guild of Los Angeles, and an appearance at New York City’s 92nd Street Y with soprano Juliane Banse. The quartet has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, and with the El Paso Symphony lead by Sarah Ioannides. Active guests on the summer festival circuit, the Rossetti Quartet has appeared at Brevard, Caramoor, Festival del Sole in Napa Valley, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival, and Maverick Concerts. Internationally, they have toured in the Netherlands with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and appeared at numerous festivals, including the San Miguel de Allende Chamber Music Festival in Mexico, Saint Riquier in France, and Spoleto Festival in Italy.
Individual artists with whom the quartet has collaborated include Mr. Thibaudet, flutist Paula Robison, flutist Eugenia Zukerman, guitarist Pepe Romero, and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, with whom they have toured to Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts, the Wisconsin Union Theater, People’s Symphony in New York and the Community Library Friends of the Arts in Shirley, NY. In addition to the group’s former residency at the Carlsen Center in Overland Park, Kansas, the Rossetti String Quartet has served as Artists-in-Residence at Caramoor and at the Ventura Chamber Music Festival.
Co-founded in 1996 by violinist Henry Gronnier and violist Thomas Diener, the Rossetti String Quartet is named after 19th century Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose artistic ideals about the use of color, poetry, and naturalism are embodied in the Quartet’s musicianship. The aesthetic depth and insight each brings to the group helps create the intimate, provocative atmosphere that has become the Rossetti trademark.
Violinist Henry Gronnier is a founding member and first violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet. Born in Saint-Quentin, France, Mr. Gronnier began his musical studies at the Conservatoire in Saint-Quentin, where he was awarded a Premier Prix in both violin and piano.
While specializing in chamber music, Gronnier also has led a distinguished career as both a recitalist and an orchestral soloist, having performed in such venues as London’s Wigmore Hall and Carnegie’s Weill Hall in New York City. He has performed at an array of chamber music festivals throughout the Americas and Europe, including the Festival of Two Worlds, Spoleto in both Italy and in Charleston, S.C., the Lucerne Festival, The Festival Méditérranéen, Festival Albert Schweitzer, and Festival Zino Francescatti, the Mostly Mozart Festival and Caramoor Festival in New York, the Casals Festival of Puerto Rico, and Mexico’s Festival de San Miguel de Allende.
Gronnier’s studies included work at the Conservatoire National de Région de Versailles, where he received a Gold Medal, followed by further studies with Michele Auclair and Zino Francescatti. His subsequent full scholarship at the University of Tulsa led to him working with the renowned French violinist, Nell Gotkovsky. Mr. Gronnier has shared musical stages with many leading artists, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Chantal Juillet, Anne Queffelec, Carter Brey, Eugenia Zukerman, Lucas Foss, and many others.
Henry Gronnier is a member of the violin faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music, and serves as the Thornton School’s Director of Chamber Music.
Violinist Sara Parkins is a Grammy-award winner of Best Chamber Music Performance for the complete recordings of the Haydn string quartets with the Angeles Quartet. Ms. Parkins is also a prizewinner of the Fiscoff choff National Chamber Music Competition with the Stonybrook Piano Trio. On the forefront of contemporary music, she has collaborated with prominent new music composers and performers such as Anthony Braxton, Mark Dresser, and Gerry Hemmingway.
In addition, Ms. Perkins performs with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York City, and is active as a studio musician in Los Angeles. An international performer, Ms. Parkins has appeared at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Banff Centre, and Strings in the Mountains in Colorado, as well as the Taktlos festival in Zurich, and Festival International de Cadeques in Spain. Along with her recordings on Philips Classics, Sara is featured in recordings on the Victo Avon and Tzadik labels. She attended the Curtis Institute of Music and received her Masters degree from SUNY Stonybrook in New York.
Violist Thomas Diener is a founding member of the Rossetti String Quartet. He has performed internationally in recital, with orchestra and as a collaborator in chamber music ensembles. He has performed at France’s Festival Mediterranean and Festival de Prades, Norway’s Stavanger Festival and Portugal’s Sintra Festival.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Mr. Diener began his viola studies at age eleven, and went on to win a scholarship to the National Academy of the Arts in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where he studied with Paul Rolland, Guillermo Perich and Gabriel Magyar of the Hungarian Quartet. He continued his studies at Mannes College of Music under the tutelage of Lotte Bamberger and William Lincer. Mr. Diener has participated in master classes with the Emerson, Cleveland, Tokyo, Stradivari, Pro Arte and Vermeer string quartets. A proponent for musical education, he has coached young musicians in chamber music ensembles for The Juilliard School’s High School for the Performing Arts and Pre-College division.
Cellist Eric Gaenslen is also active as a soloist. He has performed nationally and abroad in recital, with orchestras and in chamber music ensembles. Recent highlights include the 2003 world premiere of Siddartha for cello and string orchestra by Laura Canibucci, and a performance of Bloch’s Shelomo at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall. Chamber music performances at music festivals include Lincoln Center, Aspen, Evian, Tanglewood, Bowdoin, Banff and Mozart Festival (Vermont). Among the artists with whom Mr. Gaenslen has collaborated are Eugene Istomin, Anton Kuerti and Itzhak Schotten.
Born in San Francisco, California, Mr Gaenslen received his Bachelor of Music degree from Yale University and his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. His teachers include Joel Krosnick, Robert Mann, Aldo Parisot, William Pleeth and Irene Sharp.
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