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Modern Mandolin Quartet
About

In the mid-1980s, Dana Rath and Mike Marshall, in a moment of insanity, created a quartet of mandolin family instruments (2 mandolins, mandola, mandocello) bringing back the mandolin ensemble tradition of the early 1900s. Repertoire was to achieve the standards of the great classical string quartets, but also include bluegrass and other styles (just because it could be done).

Originally created for the performers’ personal enjoyment, the group rapidly achieved substantial success with four albums on Windham Hill Records and repeated concert tours throughout the US and Europe. Two additional albums were released subsequently on independent labels. With time however, the MMQ group project took a back seat to members’ personal projects.

Now, Modern Mandolin Quartet returns with a vengeance. With the release of its newest CD “Americana” (3 Grammy Nominations!!), a collection of all American music on Sono Luminus, they are once again thrilling audiences throughout the world.

With this exciting repertoire, the Modern Mandolin Quartet is again setting the standard for mandolin ensembles, treating audiences to an eclectic mix of fine classical music, down-home bluegrass, world music, and commissioned works.

America's premiere mandolin quartet playing at the top of its game.” David Balakrishnan, Turtle Island Quartet

Posted: Aug-9-2016
Latest Acclaim
"MMQ play dead-straight, spot-on, and packed with freshness and vitality of a kind that is rare in material of this type. These are not down-scaled, make-em-easy, just-for-kicks charts either - they are a Major Thing. TRIPLE MUST!"
— FANFARE MAGAZINE
Posted: May-30-2003
Latest Recording

Sono Luminus presents this uniquely engaging collection of music that embodies the American spirit in Americana, the latest release by Modern Mandolin Quartet. The package will be a 2-disc set, containing a Blu-ray™ Surround Sound disc as well as a standard CD.


Expressing their opinion on their choices of musical selections for this album, the quartet writes, “This music attracted us because of the wonderful way it sounds on our instruments, particularly the Dvorák. Since the musical character of the pieces is based on various forms of American music, it lends itself extremely well to the mandolin. While many selections for piano and string music rely on idioms and techniques that may not transpose well to the mandolin, the pieces included on this disc were chosen for their vitality and the way they jumped right off the page.”


Fanfare Magazine exclaims, “MMQ play dead-straight, spot-on, and packed with freshness and vitality of a kind that is rare in material of this type. These are not down-scaled, make-em-easy, just-for-kicks charts either - they are a Major Thing. TRIPLE MUST!”


The Modern Mandolin Quartet was formed in 1985 to give a new voice to that most American of musical instruments, the mandolin. Following the tradition of the mandolin orchestras and chamber groups from the early twentieth century, the MMQ uses the instruments of the mandolin family which correspond to the conventional string quartet (two mandolins, mandola, and mandocello). To date the Quartet has arranged and performed over 90 works originally written for orchestra, chamber ensemble, piano, guitar, and string quartet.

Posted: Sep-6-2012
Latest Video
Posted: Dec-11-2012