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. Joshua Kosman (San Francisco Chronicle) has declared them, “The Bay Area's redoubtable new-music ensemble.”
Since forming in 2011, Friction has commissioned fifty works for string quartet and given world premiere performances of more than eighty works. They won Second Prize in the 2016 Schoenfeld Competition, were quarter-finalists in the 2015 Fischoff Competition, and placed second at the 2015 Frances Walton Competition.
Friction has held residencies at the New Music for Strings Festival in Denmark, Interlochen Arts Camp, Lunenburg Academy of Music, Napa Valley Performing Arts Center, Old First Concerts, San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and was the first ensemble in residence at the Center for New Music. They are ensemble educators with SF Symphony’s Adventures in Music Program, KDFC Playground Pop Ups, and more.
Friction appears on recordings with National Sawdust Tracks, Innova Records, Albany Records, and Pinna Records. Their recent albums include Rising, featuring three commissioned quartets about the changing climate and the landscapes of California, and Counter Paint, a collaborative multimedia project created by Pascal Le Boeuf and Danny Clay. They released their full-length debut album, resolve, in 2018.
"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