The Juilliard String Quartet is a classical music string quartet founded in 1946 at the Juilliard School in New York by William Schuman. The original members were violinists Robert Mann and Robert Koff, violist Raphael Hillyer and cellist Arthur Winograd. Current members are violinists Areta Zhulla and Ronald Copes, violist Roger Tapping, and cellist Astrid Schween. Areta Zhulla most recently joined the quartet, replacing Joseph Lin in September 2018. Joseph Lin had previously joined the Quartet in 2011 after Nick Eanet resigned in 2010 for failing health. Former second violinist, later first after Mann's retirement, Joel Smirnoff left the quartet after its 2008-2009 season to become president of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Since the Quartet's inception in 1946, it has been the quartet-in-residence at the Juilliard School. It has received numerous awards, including four Grammys and membership in the National Academy Recording Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame. In February 2011, the group received the NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award for its outstanding contributions to recorded classical music.
The quartet plays a wide range of classical music, and has recorded works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bartók, Debussy and Shostakovich and many others, while also promoting more contemporary composers such as Elliott Carter, Ralph Shapey, Henri Dutilleux and Milton Babbitt. It has performed with other noted musicians such as Aaron Copland, Glenn Gould, Benita Valente and also (in its earlier days) with the great scientist Albert Einstein. They can be heard on the soundtrack of Immortal Beloved movie.
The quartet began recording with Sony Classical (formerly Columbia Records and CBS Masterworks) in 1949, and the group's discography currently numbers over 100 items, including repertory both well-traveled and unfamiliar. In 1950, the quartet made the first of at least three appearances at the Peabody Mason Concerts in Boston. In that concert, they performed the world premiere of Martin Boykan's String Quartet of 1949. Their early 1950s recordings of the six Bartok string quartets on the Columbia label and various works recorded for the RCA Living Stereo label (c. 1958-1962), including perhaps even more vivid and incisive readings of Bartok' six quartets and a complete Beethoven quartet cycle, are particularly acclaimed.
In 2015, the quartet released an app for Apple's iOS entitled "Juilliard String Quartet - An Exploration of Schubert's Death and the Maiden". The recording was issued separately on audio by Ulysses Arts. The app was co-produced by the London-based app developer Touchpress and The Juilliard School. The app features the quartet in a performance of Franz Schubert's celebrated String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, better known as "Death and the Maiden."