The Dover Quartet performs in the CPR Performance Studio on Dec. 3, 2014. 

(Photo: CPR/Michael Hughes)

The Philadelphia-based Dover Quartet visited Denver on Wednesday for a Friends of Chamber Music concert and stopped by the CPR Performance Studio beforehand to perform music by Mozart and Dvorak.

The ensemble, whose members all graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, takes its name from composer Samuel Barber’s “Dover Beach.” (Barber was a fellow Curtis Institute grad.)

The musicians spent a year as the first-ever quartet in residence at the Curtis Institute, won several prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition and plays more than 100 concerts around the world each year (including an appearance last June at Bravo! Vail). 

The Dover Quartet.

(Photo: Liza-Marie Mazzucco)

Dover violinist Joel Link and and cellist Camden Shaw talked with CPR Classical host David Rutherford about their inspirations, why they sing their parts in rehearsal and how they discovered as students that playing in a string quartet allows them to explore music in a way they couldn’t if they pursued solo careers.

“In a way as a soloist you don’t have the sort of artistic power and freedom that you often think,” Shaw said. “In a sense, you have … at best maybe two or three rehearsals with an orchestra and then you’re onstage performing. So actually we felt we had more freedom in a quartet where we could spend more time hashing out the details. Really, the sky was the limit in terms of detail and depth.”

Click the audio above for the full interview.

The quartet -- Link, Shaw, violinist Bryan Lee and violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt -- played movements from Mozart’s String Quartet No. 20 and Dvorak’s String Quartet No. 11 in the CPR Performance Studio on Wednesday.

Here's video of the performance:

The Dover Quartet performs Antonín Dvořák's String Quartet No. 11 in C major, third movement, in the CPR Performance Studio. Recorded Dec. 3, 2014.

The Dover Quartet performs Mozart's String Quartet No. 20 in G major, third movement, in the CPR Performance Studio. Recorded Dec. 3, 2014.