Del Sol began as a thought on the night shift at Fermilab.
Charlton Lee, in his pre-viola days, loved the cutting edge of physics research – always looking for the next discovery, pushing boundaries. But he missed the way music connected people, building community by communicating in ways physics never would. What if he could bring that scientific passion for exploration to a string quartet?
Twenty-six years later, we are still sharing music that brings out the endorphins. Music that asks why not?
Although Del Sol began in New Mexico, the quartet quickly found its home in San Francisco where the city matched our hunger for innovation. We feel drawn to the West Coast tradition of freethinking outsider artists, fascinated by the feedback loop between social change, technology, and artistic innovation. Our current lineup, marked by the arrival of violinist Sam Weiser alongside mainstays Kathryn Bates and Ben Kreith, looks to bring a fresh energy, freedom, and precision to our diverse repertoire.
Del Sol has commissioned and premiered pieces by our heroes like Ben Johnston, Gabriela Lena Frank, Frederic Rzewski, Chinary Ung and Terry Riley. And while we have remained committed to building a community in the Bay Area, our performances take us all over the country, from Boonville Grange Hall in northern California to the Library of Congress in Washington DC, and all over the world, with recent trips to Switzerland and China.
Ben, Sam, Kathryn, and Charlton