The Johannes Quartet consists of four outstanding musicians who take time away from their busy careers to pursue their love of the string quartet literature. This quartet brings together the first American to win the Paganini Violin Competition in 24 years, Soovin Kim; the Principal second violin of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Julianne Lee; the Principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, C.J. Chang; and former Principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Peter Stumpf, currently on faculty at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. The Johannes has been praised by listeners and critics alike for its special combination of passion, warmth, elegance and poetry. Each member has spent numerous summers at the celebrated Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, birthplace of many of the world's renowned ensembles. New York appearances include debuts at Carnegie Hall and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as frequent performances on the Schneider Series at the New School and the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts at Town Hall.
Since the Johannes made its acclaimed debut there in 1998, the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia has played a major role in launching the Quartet, presenting them regularly each season, including a two-concert series of the complete Beethoven opus 18 quartets. The Philadelphia Inquirer described their debut as having "accurate intonation, vigorous interaction and careful regard for the details in the score...the passion and attack that characterize the best of quartet playing."
The 2017-18 season, which will be their final season, opened with their acclaimed annual return to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and closes with a performance presented by Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Highlights of recent seasons include the group’s collaboration with the legendary Guarneri String Quartet in a program featuring William Bolcom's Octet: Double Quartet, commissioned by the Music Accord presenter consortium specifically for the two ensembles and the premiere of Homunculus, written for the Johannes by Esa-Pekka Salonen, which the ensemble has toured with regularly since its premiere. In addition, they pioneered a special project focused on Bartok and Beethoven with Fred Child of Performance Today as host and narrator in Indianapolis, IN and in Burlington VT.