Communication and the delivery of ideas is at the heart of why we make music. Whether investigating the human condition, culture, or history through music, we choose our projects and create our programs to be about something. We defy genre and break down the walls of tradition, reimagining and redefining the classical music experience…

We are the Catalyst.


Hailed by the New York Times at their Carnegie Hall debut as “invariably energetic and finely burnished… playing with earthy vigor”, the Catalyst Quartet, prize winners of the Gianni Bergamo Classical Music Award 2012 (Switzerland) is comprised of top Laureates and alumni of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition with the 2015 winner of the Seoul International Music Competition. Known for “rhythmic energy, polyphonic clarity and tight ensemble-playing”, the quartet has toured domestically and abroad including sold out performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Miami’s New World Center, and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall.

The Catalyst Quartet has held concert residencies at institutions such as the University of Washington, University of Michigan, Rice University, Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts, University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, and Pennsylvania State University. International residencies where they perform and give master classes have included the In Harmony Project in England, the University of South Africa, and the Teatro de Bellas Artes in Colombia.

The Catalyst Quartet have been invited guest artists at important music festivals such as Mainly Mozart in San Diego, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Sitka Music Festival, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Strings Music Festival, and the Grand Canyon Music Festival. In 2014, they opened the Festival del Sole in Napa, CA with violinist Joshua Bell and also participated in England’s Aldeburgh Music Foundation’s String Quartet Residency with two performances at Britten’s Jubilee Hall. Recent seasons have brought international touring in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and expanded U.S. tours in Virginia, Minnesota, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and California. The Catalyst’s New York City presence has included concerts on the cafe series of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Barge Music, and Schneider Concerts at the New School. In February 2016 they presented six concerts with Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The Bach/Gould Project – Catalyst Quartet’s debut recording featuring the members’ own arrangement of J.S. Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations paired with Glenn Gould’s seminal String Quartet – was released in April 2015 on the Azica label. The quartet is also featured on the release STRUM, the string works of composer/violinist Jessie Montgomery. The quartet has performed on numerous television and radio broadcasts including multiple contributions to American Public Media – Performance Today, and have been featured in The Strad and Strings Magazine.
Founded by the Sphinx Organization they completed their fifth national tour in October 2015 with the Sphinx Virtuosi as their featured ensemble. The Catalyst Quartet serves as principal faculty for the Sphinx Performance Academy at Oberlin College and Roosevelt University.


The Catalyst Quartet is a Sphinx Ensemble and proudly endorses Pirastro Strings.