In the mid-1980s, Dana Rath and Mike Marshall created a quartet of mandolin family instruments, bringing back the mandolin ensemble tradition of the early 1900s. The repertoire was designed to equal the standards of the great classical string quartets, but also included bluegrass and other styles.
Originally created for the performers’ personal enjoyment, the group rapidly achieved success with four albums on Windham Hill Records and concert tours throughout the US and Europe. Two additional albums followed on independent labels.
Now, the Modern Mandolin Quartet returns with a vengeance. With the release of “Americana”, a collection of American music on Sono Luminus, they are once again thrilling listeners around the world.
The Modern Mandolin Quartet is currently offering programs drawn from: Americana – the latest CD release on Sono Luminus Records of American music including Dvorak (String Quartet in F ‘The American’), Bernstein, Keith Jarrett, Copland, Gershwin, Phillip Glass, and Bill Monroe.
Bach to Bluegrass – a melange of music drawn from seven CD releases plus other things picked up along the way (Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Piazzolla, Leo Brouwer, Villa Lobos, Edgar Meyer, Jacob do Bandolim, Tchaikovsky etc.).
World of the Mandolin – a journey through the planetary life of this little instrument including bluegrass, classical music (Vivaldi and other music composed specifically for the mandolin), Brazilian choro, jazz (yes there is a jazz mandolin tradition) and beautiful Neapolitan/Italian songs.
In addition, The MMQ offers concertos with orchestra including Vivaldi, deFalla, Bill Monroe, Mozart, Copland, and Tulley Cathy.
The Modern Mandolin Quartet has decades of experience presenting lecture/demonstrations to all ages in many settings. It’s wonderful to see the reaction when classical music is presented in a different way along with bluegrass, jazz, Brazilian choro and other musical styles. The goal is always to open musical doors for people of all ages.