Summer Soundtracks

This summer has been about exploration and reflection. All four members of ISQ have been travelling: performing, studying, and gathering inspiration in Wisconsin, Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, and Arizona. With Emily, Madeline, and Betsy now back in L.A., we are putting that inspiration to good use developing this season’s programs, attending concerts, and finding opportunities to play with some of our favorite artists.  Through all of these adventures, it is apparent how important music is to our daily lives. ALL kinds of music. We’ve each developed our own soundtracks for road trips, daily commutes, running, working, relaxing, etc.  

As classical musicians, we are often asked what kind of music we listen to when we’re not performing. In the spirit of exploration, we thought we’d share some snapshots of a few of our summer soundtracks:


The Bad Plus- Giant
Son Lux- Easy
Sylvan Esso- Could I Be
Beck- Loser
Pixies- Where Is My Mind?
Kiesza- Hideaway
Eighth Blackbird- Roshanne Etezady: Damaged Goods, IV. Eleventh Hour
Dirty Projectors- Rise Above
Bobby- Sore Spores
Hilary Hahn and Valentina Lisista- Charles Ives: Violin Sonata No. 2, III. The Revival


The Ex & Tom Cora- State of Shock
Jaguar Love- I Started a Fire 
The Bamboos- Helpless Blues
Twin Sister- Kimmi in a Rice Field
Os Mutantes- Meu refrigerador  não funciona
Loretta Lynn- High on a Mountain Top 
Helen Money- Rift
Laura Sheeran- Sleep Fucking
Nina Nastasia - Ocean


Viviane Hagner - Unsuk Chin: Violin Concerto, Mvt I 
Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys - I’m Working on a Building 
Bryan Titus- Cooper House Blues
Louis Armstrong - Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans
Moondog - Bird’s Lament
Tom Waits - All the World is Green
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra - Sibelius: Symphony No. 2, I. Allegretto
Jacques Loussier - Bach: Prelude No. 1 in C Major
Edgar Meyer, Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Yo-Yo Ma - Attaboy
Man Man - Head On [Hold on to Your Heart]

Mailing List

We now have a mailing list. If you want email updates on future ISQ concerts and activites, you should sign up here or fill out the form on our contact page. It's the easiest way to keep in touch with us! (Besides, you know...talking to us in person.)

Bon Voyage, Alessandra

As some of you know, our violist Alessandra is leaving Los Angeles this week for Seattle to attend graduate school at the University of Washington.

We are excited for her to begin this new amazing chapter of her life and look forward to seeing what she will do next in her career! We are also, of course, sad to see her go. It is poignant to think of the ways in which we have all grown over the past three years that we have been playing together (see photo below of our very first performance). I never imagined that I would be lucky enough to work with three beautiful, true musicians who I love like my sisters and learn from in every single rehearsal and performance; I feel grateful that both ISQ and our friendship have proven to be strong and resilient.

While we are looking forward to our future as a quartet in Los Angeles, we will miss the lovely, thriving spirit that Alessandra brought to our rehearsals and the music that we played together. Not to mention the cats Maeby & Miles, A’s off-color comments and endearing blonde moments (okay, those might still exist), and amazing coffee and baked goods at our morning rehearsals.

But this is not goodbye!

We are excited to visit A once she is settled in Seattle, and to hopefully play together again when her schedule allows.

As for Emily, Madeline, and Betsy, the Isaura String Quartet looks forward to an exciting season of new music with several very talented Los Angeles violists. Plans for challenging programs and inspiring collaborations are in the works, so stay tuned for updates!


very fast moving people and chairs

Here's a little teaser excerpt from the last piece we performed on our concert back in April. For an extended version (that is also at the original speed!) check out our sounds page. Chairs, contact mics, and tactile transducers amplify audio recorded earlier in the concert (aka all of the previous pieces we played, as well as movement that was recorded from our bodies interacting with the chairs themselves). The sound is manipulated as we rearrange the chairs.

Time is a Sensual Object by Jules Gimbrone (condensed excerpt) performed by the Isaura String Quartet at Space Arts Center, April 5, 2014 Time is a Sensual Object is an exploration of (in)organic listening and memory.

Summertime Overhaul

Greetings from July. You might have noticed a few updates on our website, namely, the SOUNDS page! We finally have a couple live recordings available for your listening pleasure. Additionally, we finally made a facebook page for ourselves, so if you haven't liked us yet, what's stopping you? Head over there right now! And why stop there? You can follow us on twitter, too.

As we're planning our next concert and brainstorming projects (so many ideas!), we're planning on updating our blog a bit more as well as uploading more videos from previous concerts. Keep an eye on this page in the coming weeks, months, etc. for more ISQ goodies.

xo ec

Back at SPACE

Last night (5/3) we performed once more at SPACE Arts Center in South Pasadena during the Eclectic Music Festival and Art Walk. It was great to be back (SPACE is one of our favorite places to play) and we had a lot of fun, even though we played as a trio because Alessandra was unable to join us for the evening.

There was no program available tonight, so for those who were wondering about the contemporary music we performed, we opened and closed our set with new works by Morgan Gerstmar, with John Eagle's counting piece sandwiched in the middle of the set.

A Few Photos

As promised, here are some photos from our performance at REDCAT for Anne LeBaron's Portrait Concert series. All photos by Steven A. Gunther.


We've had a crazy week - our debut recital and our debut as a quartet on the REDCAT stage were only a week apart from each other. A larger update coming soon, and with pictures, too!

Time is a Sensual Object

We are excited to officially announce our debut recital as a quartet! Please join us at Space Art Center on Saturday, April 5th at 8 pm for Time is a Sensual Object, a program featuring new works by four Los Angeles composers including four world premieres. We are really enjoying bringing these works to life, and hope you will join us for the performance. For more information on the venue and our collaborators, see below.

a week with el gallo

Playing in El Gallo  this past week was such a thrill. We loved working with the cast and crew of Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes and being a part of the Radar LA Festival. Did I mention that the Million Dollar Theater, our venue for the show, was built in 1918 and was Sid Grauman's first theater in Los Angeles? It was a beautiful space. We'll especially miss working with our dear conductor, Gamaliel Cano, and are so happy to have had the opportunity to perform in this great show.


Isaura String Quartet with conductor Gamaliel Cano

Isaura String Quartet with conductor Gamaliel Cano

an introduction

Welcome to our brand new website, and pardon our dust while we still tweak a few things here and there. This blog will be updated by all four of us as a place to share updates from our rehearsals, interesting articles, pictures of our cats... 

We're currently hard at work rehearsing for our Schubert/Crumb concert, which also means that we are on the lookout for various percussion items to use in Black Angels . Do any of you have a set of around 30 crystal glasses you want to loan us? Or two tam-tams? ... Bueller? Bueller?

El Gallo  by Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes

El Gallo by Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes

In other news, we are very excited to announce that we'll be involved with REDCAT's Radar L.A. festival. We'll be playing in El Gallo , presented by Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes. Check our events page for more information. Shows will run from 9/25–9/28 and tickets are only $25 for general audience members. See you there.