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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The World of the String Quartet by Curtis Institute of Music

313 ratings
81 reviews

About the Course

Arnold Steinhardt, first violin of the internationally acclaimed Guarneri String Quartet, invites music listeners to the world of the string quartet repertoire and ensemble. Journey with him and interpretive analysis instructor Mia Chung through the history and features of quartet music, colored by stories of legendary quartets and insights from the stage. This season's Curtis courses are sponsored by Linda Richardson in loving memory of her husband, Dr. Paul Richardson....

Top reviews


Oct 05, 2015

This course was incredibly interesting and greatly informative! I am an amateur violinist and loved the historical information about the composers and the demonstrations by the Aizuri Quartet.


Nov 03, 2015

This is a great course. The professors are wonderful and they clearly have a tremendous love (which they pass on to their pupils) of the subject matter. Week six blew my mind.

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51 - 75 of 79 Reviews for The World of the String Quartet

By Peter

Jul 21, 2016

This is a very interesting course. Our two professors do an amazing job presenting the course materials.

By Mary L R

Jan 05, 2016

Great course, even if you have little background in this area.

By Daniel M B

Dec 30, 2016

Excellent, it's just awesome to enjoy all the items of this course: info, performances, analysis, etc.

By Jaka S

Aug 16, 2015


By Douglas W O

Feb 05, 2017

I really enjoyed. Thank you! Headed to forming my String Quartet!

By John H

Nov 19, 2016

As a late-starter/returner in a new quartet, I found this course excellent. The discussions and demonstrations brought the material to life. My only problems arose in trying to access the online resources which I could rarely get to work. Also, the "no-strings" questions were fun, but I could not submit any answers as the relevant link never appeared on my screen. I use an Apple iMac. I was of course tempted to return on occasion to aim for 5/5 in the quizzes, but did not. I think this aspect might be omitted, though I can see it might help avoid demotivating a disappointed student!

By Janine M

Nov 20, 2016

Thank you so much. I would heartily recommend the course to anyone with even a remote interest in classical music, whether they play an instrument or listen for pleasure and certainly defy anyone not to come away delighted and enlightened. This has been a very special experience and being able to return to the course videos and musical materials is a real boon.

By Daniel H

Aug 29, 2017

Wonderful broad survey of some of the significant repertoire for string quartet, from its inception in the classical period all the way up to the present day and beyond. Arnold Steinhardt and Mia Chung speak intelligently and engagingly about their chosen topics, and their areas of knowledge complement each other extremely well. Highly recommended for anyone looking to learn more about the genre of the string quartet!

By Angel D

Jan 16, 2017

Superb!!, Marvelous .ad

By Manuel M

Nov 18, 2018

Nice, broad and in depth overview. I used this course as an addition to my master's in composition studies.

By Elton A

May 31, 2019


By Alfred M

Jul 30, 2019

good course!

By Montserrat-Ana M

Aug 15, 2019

Excellent course with high quality levels of rigor and artistry from both professors. Its contents, with grace, thoroughly cover the history of Chamber Music in such an effective way so that the student becomes even more interested in pursuing the next topic and further exploring the World of Chamber Music.

Along its seven programs, the course manages to raise the students' enthusiasm for the composers historical context, their circle of closest friends, their complex times, their musical roots, their inherintance from the great masters. The student develops the skill of listening to the suggested pieces in order to discern the composer's techniques and to understand the story and the emotions that the composer and performers intend to communicate.

I am really enjoying this course and I highly recommend it. Wise performances by the Aizuri Quartet for this course, congratulations.

By Miguel A

Sep 07, 2019

Highly recommended for anyone interested in classical music. Arnold Steinhardt's enthusiasm and Mia Chung's clear explanations pair excellently. Both specific (compositional and performance-related) and general (historical and philosophical) matters are covered in a well-balanced way. And I appreciated the teaching style very much: rather than a teacher teaching at me, it felt like I learned through conversations with friends.

I only could not see the added value of the 'with strings attached' section. I would have preferred profound, provoking and philosophical questions (Is John Cage's 4'33'' music? Is tonality natural or taught? Why is the string quartet an established genre while the wind quartet isn't?) over these bits of trivia and references to pop culture. But that's just a detail!

By Manuel V

Dec 01, 2019

The course was really eye-opener, the lessons are simple but interesting and the performances are remarkable.

By Ravi D

Mar 02, 2019

Very good introduction and explanation of the history and form of string quartets. The organization of composers was clear and meaningful. I enjoyed the mixing of music appreciation with the nuts and bolts of quartet creation and design.

By Nick W

Jul 02, 2016

This course is an overview of String Quartet music. It provides some nice resources to get to know certain composers or quartets better. It helped guide me to some nice music. The instructors are knowledgeable and do a good job imparting some of their insight into the lectures. The level of detail is about right for my time and attention span.

By Prasanna V R

Jan 27, 2016

Very good and wide ranging performances. The insights were interesting.


Oct 04, 2015

An excellent course that opens up a new world.

By Lilian G

Jun 29, 2016

good and useful course


Oct 08, 2015

A very good introduction to the wonderful world of string's quartet.Thanks a lot.

By Frédéric M

Sep 13, 2015

This Course is fantastic!!

By Nassos P

Sep 12, 2015

The course is very good and the instructors are very communicative! The extra material is also very good, you have the chance to listen to so many compositions, which is very important in order to understand the touch of quartets. Personally, I would like to have some more advanced lectures and to be provided with the music sheets of the great composers in order to analyse them and learn from them! If Curtis is planning to organise a more advanced course, I would definitely join!

By Annette v K

Sep 18, 2015

I enjoyed the structure of the lectures. For me the composers stories, the analysis of the narratives and the musical fragments were extremely interesting. Without an extensive background on music theory however, I had some difficulties following the musical analysis of Mia sometimes. However, I learned a lot, and am really grateful for your effort to put together a course in which you presented so many great composers in an attractive fashion to a large public, without losing the grandeur of the music.

By Denis F

Sep 18, 2015

very emotional