Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Shanghai Quartet has worked with the world's most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia.
The Quartet has a long history of championing new music and juxtaposing Eastern and Western sounds. Important commissions and premieres include works by Lowell Lieberman, Sebastian Currier, Lei Liang, Marc Neikrug and Zhou Long. The 2011-12 season brought premieres of Bright Sheng's Dance Capriccio for Piano Quintet with pianist Peter Serkin and Sweet Suite, a piano quintet by Stephen Prutsman. Dan Welcher's Museon Polemos for double quartetr will premiere in September 2012 with the Miro Quartet at the University of Texas at Austin. A concerto for string quartet and symphony orchestra by Korean composer by Jeajoon Ryu will premiere in 2013 as part of the quartet's 30th Anniversary season.
The Shanghai Quartet's 25th anniversary season in 2008-9 featured world premieres from the three continents that comprise its artistic and cultural worlds.
They will perform it again in Poland for the composer's 80th Birthday celebration in November 2013. Chen Yi's From the Path of Beauty, commissioned with Chanticleer, was premiered in San Francisco, with performances at Tanglewood and Ravinia and in Beijing and Shanghai.
The Shanghai Quartet has an extensive discography of more than 30 recordings. Releases range from the Schumann and Dvorak piano quintets with Rudolf Buchbinder to Zhou Long's Poems from Tang for string quartet and orchestra with the Singapore Symphony (BIS). Delos released the Quartet's most popular disc, Chinasong, in 2003: a collection of Chinese folk songs arranged by Yi-Wen Jiang reflecting on his childhood memories of the Cultural Revolution in China. The Shanghai Quartet recorded the complete Beethoven String Quartets for Camerata, a seven-disc project that was completed in 2009.
The Shanghai Quartet currently serves as Quartet-in-Residence at Montclair State University in New Jersey, Ensemble-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and visiting guest professors of the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing.