"stunningly passionate"


Friction Quartet exists to modernize the chamber music experience and expand the string quartet repertoire. Friction achieves this mission by commissioning new works, curating imaginative programs, collaborating with artists, and presenting interactive educational outreach. They gave their Carnegie Hall debut as part of the Kronos Quartet Workshop in 2016, and returned in March 2018 to perform George Crumb’s Black Angels as part of "The '60s" festival.


Friction has served as Artist-in-Residence at The New Music for Strings Festival in Denmark, The Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance in Nova Scotia, the Napa Valley Performing Arts Association, SF Friends of Chamber Music, and the Old First Concert series. They have also been Quartet Fellows in Residence at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and were the first Ensemble-in-Residence at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.


Friction is entering their fourth consecutive year with the San Francisco Symphony's “Adventures in Music” program, providing interdisciplinary music education to young students. They are also Ensemble Partners with the Young Composers & Improvisors Workshop, Noe Music Kids, KDFC, and NVPAC Lollipops.


Since forming in 2011, Friction has given more than seventy world premiere performances and commissioned forty-four works for string quartet. They received a Chamber Music America grant to commission a piano quintet from composer Andy Akiho, which they premiered in November 2016 with pianist Jenny Q Chai. They have received additional grant support from Intermusic SF, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the California Arts Council..


While Friction has garnered international attention as commissioners and interpreters of new music, they are also devoted to performing masterworks of the string quartet repertoire. They were the second place winner of the 2016 Schoenfeld International String Competition and were quarter-finalists in the 2015 Fischoff Competition.


"The members of the Friction Quartet seem to have adopted an appropriate name not just for their ensemble, but for an entire vein of musical thought... This was high- octane music-making, and the Frictioneers brought to all of it a fine blend of rhythmic ferocity and tonal flair."

Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle

"Seeing the Friction Quartet live should leave us without any doubts: the future is energetic, colorful, technically exquisite, conceptually adventurous and very much alive."

Nicholas Rich, News and Record Greensboro

"[They] gave everything from lyrical plunges to keening wails to snapping pizzicati an unnerving urgency. It was terribly beautiful, dreadfully jaunty, and finally implosive . . . A silent shiver ran through the house before the applause."


Stephen Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice


". . . sublimely gifted and exquisitely skilled. . . this performance was one of the truest and most moving things I’ve ever heard or seen."


Christopher Johnson, ZealNYC

sample repertoire

Piers Hellawell

Mario Godoy

Sarang Kim

Nicole Lizee

Max Stoffregen

Nicolas Benavides

- String Quartet No. 3

- String Quartet No. 2

Two Hearts


The Gila for piano quintet

- El Correcaminos

21st century

Thomas Ades

Andy Akiho

Eivind Beune

Geoffrey Gordon

Chris Cerrone

Alyssa Weinberg

Loren Loiacono

- The Four Quarters

- Ligneous for quartet and marimba

- Grid



- Can't and Won't

- Parallels


20th century

Béla Bartók

Sergie Prokofiev

George Crumb

Leoš Janáček

Arnold Schoenberg

Maurice Ravel

String Quartet No. 5

- String Quartet No. 2

Black Angels

String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata"

- String Quartet No. 2 with soprano

- String Quartet in F Major



Porter Robinson


Justin Bieber + Jack U

Lady Gaga


Britney Spears

Little Red Corvette

- Spitfire

- Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites

- Where are Ü Now

- Bad Romance

- Exit Music (for a film)

- Toxic

earlier music

Ludwig van Beethoven

Antonín Dvořák

Joseph Haydn

Sergei Taneyev

Bedřich Smetana

- Op. 59, No. 1

- String  Quartet No. 10, Op. 74 "Harp"

- Piano Quintet in A

- String Quartet No. 12 "American"

- Op. 76, No.1 

- Piano Quintet Op. 30

- String Quartet No. 1 "From My Life"

- String Quartet No. 2

Samantha Godoy
Managing Director


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