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Dover Quartet

"The Curtis Session" by Dover Quartet

Eric Sessler 66_edited

"Dream of Life Awake" composed by Eric Sessler




A moment captured in time… ideally, this is one of the best things that a recording can offer. In this case, a musical portrait of a young ensemble caught up in an unexpected moment of magic: two microphones, four movements…one take each with no edits! A stunning glimpse into the brilliant musicianship of the Dover Quartet.


The backstory of The Curtis Session took place in 2013, when the ensemble decided to make an informal recording of Dreams from life awake at the Curtis Institute. Scheduled one night after their Kimmel Center debut concert, the quartet was relaxed and focused. They navigated intricate ensemble writing with ease, and with each subsequent movement the group’s energy gathered and sharpened. Complete
commitment to each other and the music, transformed the informal recording into a beautiful portrait of young musicians under the powerful influence of musical synchronicity. Ultimately, The Curtis Session places the listener literally right in front of a brilliant young string quartet on a very special evening.

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“Dreams from life awake” by Eric Sessler
Movement 1: reverberation-exploration-flow
Movement 2: tenderness-love-warmth
Movement 3: evolution-growth-transformation
Movement 4: determination-energy-resolve


Eric Sessler’s distinctive compositions are an accessible and highly engaging blend of
classical music infused with elements drawn from popular music. He has received
awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, ASCAP, the Theodore Presser Foundation, and grants from American Composers Forum and the Philadelphia Music Project. He has been commissioned by a wide range of musicians, including the Dover 
Quartet; the Cincinnati and Philadelphia Chamber Orchestras; flutist Jeffrey Khaner;  and guitarist Jason Vieaux. Among recordings of his music, Sessler’s Organ Concerto was
featured on Opus 76-a showcase of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in Verizon Hall
(The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia), with renowned organist Alan Morrison as soloist.
Born in Dover, New Jersey, Dr. Sessler is based outside of Philadelphia and he is a member of the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. A 1993 Curtis Institute graduate in composition, Sessler later received his doctorate from The Juilliard School.

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Dover Quartet is…
Joel Link – Violin
Bryan Lee – Violin
Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt – Viola
Camden Shaw – Cello



The phenomenal Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff Competition. Awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Dover is one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. The Quartet’s rise from young ensemble to the top of their field has been “meteoric” (Strings). With its burnished warmth, incisive rhythms, and natural phrasing, the Quartet’s distinctive sound has confirmed its status as “the young American string quartet of the moment” (New Yorker). The Quartet serves as the quartet-in-residence for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.

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