Dallas String Quartet is an international music sensation. Founded in 2007 by award-winning violist Ion Zanca, the contemporary classical-pop quartet is known for its refreshing versions of Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child of Mine” and Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Señorita”. On November 8, the group will release their much anticipated Christmas album, “A Very Merry Christmas with Dallas String Quartet”. “My Favorite Things.” serves as the first release from the upcoming album!
“The opening measures of the song lay down a sonic chamber rock-like vibe, creating a spacious atmosphere into which violins flutter in a fanciful flight of desire. Zanca’s viola provides the thematic undercurrent around which Dunbar’s and Priller’s violins float. Piano chords play call and response with the violins, and about two-minutes into the song, Plant’s guitar winds around the flittering violins.”
-Dallas String Quartet
Dallas String Quartet consistently showcases a clear and genuine love for music – this is something that can’t be faked, and it lets their music reach out so much further than the average musician. While their aim is to grow their audience, Dallas String Quartet’s first and foremost intention is to capture a moment in time, a powerful and captivating performance, a delivery that means something, and that is genuinely new and exciting. Dallas String Quartet’s new release “My Favorite Things” quite flawlessly encapsulates a certain emotive aura. You can lose yourself in the beauty of the sound, and you can easily appreciate the level of ability and dedication at the heart of the work. I expect to see large growth in Dallas String Quartet’s fan base in the coming months and years. Their hard work and talent fuse perfectly with authenticity and an inherent love for the art-form. “My Favorite Things” is absolutely worth experiencing, and we’re looking forward to hearing what else comes through in the near future!
Listen to Dallas String Quartet’s rendition of “My Favorite Things” here and read more in our interview below!
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Dallas String Quartet! Such a pleasure to have you here! What was your motivation behind starting Dallas String Quartet in 2007?
Ion Zanca: We had multiple reasons but at the core of it was the desire to disrupt the classical style and genre that had been done the same way for hundreds of years.
We noticed there are six members, but you’re a quartet. Can you explain?
Ion: Yes! We started originally with the traditional 4 members. But our music and shows were expanding and we felt we needed additional instruments to make songs more impactful. It’s very hard to play ‘Kashmir’ by Led Zeppelin without drums!
Who are the members?
Ion Zanca: composer and violist
Eleanor Dunbar and Melissa Priller: violinists
Young Heo: bassist
Anthony Plant: guitarist
Efren Guzman: percussionist/drummer
What are the predominant changes you’ve noticed within your music from when DSQ first started creating, to your most recent release of “My Favorite Things”?
Ion: When we started out, we tried really hard to create the sounds we were imagining with just the quartet (four members) - but many times because of the limitations, the music suffered. On this single, we changed our mindset. We wanted to serve the music first rather than the formation of the group. So, we recorded the strings and then we said, “what else would help this song sound better?” The warmth of the piano was a no brainer. So, in addition to the strings, guitar, and drums, we invited guest jazz pianist, Segio Pamies, to collaborate with us.
What would you say is the most useful piece of criticism you’ve received thus far within your career? Do you typically take criticism to your advantage?
Ion: The most useful piece of criticism was playing more original music and finding our voice. The identity of the group was originally formed on covers with a classical twist so playing original music was something we struggled with. But we soon realized this would be the natural evolution of the group. We’re very excited to announce that this year we submitted our first original piece, ‘Drops of Jewels,’ to the Grammys for Best Instrumental Composition!
You have an impressive list of accomplishments! What has been your most memorable achievement thus far in your career?
Ion: We played for presidents, NFL, NBA but the most memorable was our first concert with a symphony orchestra. It was amazing to be able to record a live album with a full symphony orchestra. The final product was a collaboration with 60 other incredible musicians and it was beautiful in ways that we never thought possible.
It was a treat being able to showcase “My Favorite Things” on BuzzMusic! We can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us as listeners. What can your fans expect from your upcoming album, “A Very Merry Christmas with Dallas String Quartet”?
Ion: This album is very special to us and every arrangement has a unique take to it. We have been planning the material for the last 7 years! So we tried to make it as big as possible. We have over 12 guest artists collaborating on this album, many of whom have received multiple Grammys.
“A Very Merry Christmas with Dallas String Quartet” is filled with warmth and love. When we recorded it, we imagined people celebrating the holidays with families and friends sitting around the fireplace sipping eggnog. We put a lot of thought into designing the cover and images and making sure we portrayed this feeling. We hope people enjoy it and associate it with beautiful memories of family and friends celebrating together!
Connect with Dallas String Quartet on social media: