The Guarneri String Quartet announced today its plans to retire in 2009. After 45 years of performing, the group's members — Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley (violins), Michael Tree (viola) and Peter Wiley (cello) — feel that it's time to leave the stage.
Said the quartet in a press release, "This has not only been a long journey, but a deeply satisfying one as well. What could be better than performing the inspired string quartet repertoire, traveling the world, and meeting wonderful people along the way!"
Founded in 1964 at the Marlboro Music Festival, the quartet is noted for its stellar interpretations of repertoire ranging from 18th- and 19th-century standards to Bartók, Stravinsky and Walton. The group's award-winning recordings of Beethoven's middle-period quartets were followed by an Edison Award in 1971 and premieres of works by Hans Werner Henze and Ned Rorem in the '90s.
In the quartet's sole personnel change in its 45-year history, Wiley succeeded David Soyer as the group's cellist.