Cullen O'Neil has come a long way from her days as a cellist in the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony. An outstanding talent at that time, she continued her studies at the University of Michigan, then in Finland, then at the Juillard School in New York City, where she formed a string quartet with Majka Demcak, Aniela Eddy, and Natalie Kress. Committed to historic performance practice, they traded their metal strings for gut and named themselves Quartet Salonnières, a reference to the historic women of society who brought great musicians to their salon gatherings.
In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, the members of Quartet Salonnières tell the stories of how they became interested in Baroque and Classical playing, what it's like to work with gut strings, and how classical music history is being affected by today's social justice conversations. In November, they will record their first album of music by Boccherini, Mozart, and Haydn. For those interested in donating to help fund the project, there is a link on the quartet's Instagram page.