Ethel is, perhaps, the first 21st-century realization of the classical string quartet.

Why you should listen

An all-star foursome, Ethel includes performers Cornelius Dufallo (violin), Ralph Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Mary Rowell (violin), a mixed bag of players from classical, rock and downtown new-music circles. The powerhouse ensemble takes an unconventional approach to performance.

Says the Wall Street Journal, "Ethel ... created a world in which classical music had never grown distant, a world in which it was as fresh and direct as crowds dancing in the street."

(photo by Steve J. Sherman)

What others say

“I wish there were more rock bands who played like Ethel. What you get from Ethel is the sense of the performers participating in the act of making a living, breathing music that brings the format back into contemporary life and culture.” — The Guardian

Ethel’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Ethel


"Love Is a Loaded Pistol": Thomas Dolby’s new song, on

May 7, 2010

For his first studio album release in decades, musical innovator Thomas Dolby has been composing music in the uniquely inspirational setting of a restored life-boat. Here he premieres a gorgeous, evocative song from that album — about one night with a legend. He’s backed by members of the modern string quartet Ethel. (Recorded at TED2010, […]

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4 great talks for International Women's Day

March 8, 2009

To celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day, we suggest these four TEDTalks gems from some amazing speakers — artists, scientists and economists who think deeply about the role of women. Author and activist Isabel Allende discusses women, creativity, feminism — and the power of passionate thinkers and doers: The former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi […]

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Tonight in L.A.: Jill Sobule

March 11, 2008

The wonderful Jill Sobule is playing at Largo tonight in LA, then swings back to NY to play at Ethel‘s 10th birthday party on March 20, along with Rives. But honestly, we were mainly looking for an excuse to share this great photo of Jill (left), taken 10 days ago at TED@Aspen…

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