The Pro Arte Quartet is one of the world’s most distinguished string quartets. Founded by conservatory students in Brussels in 1912, it became one of the most celebrated ensembles in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century and was named Court Quartet to the Queen of Belgium. Its world reputation blossomed in 1919 when the quartet began the first of many tours that enticed notable composers such as Milhaud, Honegger, Martin, and Casella to write new works for the ensemble. Today, the Pro Arte Quartet performs throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia and continues to champion both standard repertoire and new music.
The group is an ensemble in residence at the UW-Madison and resident quartet of the Chazen Museum of Art. The quartet has performed at the White House and, during the centennial celebration, played for the King’s Counselor in Belgium. Recent projects include the complete quartets of Bartók and Shostakovich and, in collaboration with the Orion and Emerson String Quartets, the complete quartets of Beethoven. Regular chamber music collaborators that perform with Pro Arte include Samuel Rhodes, viola; Bonnie Hampton, cello; and Leon Fleischer and Christopher Taylor, piano.
Current Pro Arte Quartet members are David Perry and Suzanne Beia, violin; Sally Chisholm, viola; and Parry Karp, cello. Together since 1995, they have recorded works of Mendelssohn, Dvořák, Rhodes, Shapey, Sessions, Fennelly, Diesendruck, and the centennial commissions.