The members of the quartet hail from around the globe and first met at Yale University, where Causa and Kwok were serving on the faculty. A veritable United Nations of chamber music, they represent Denmark, Australia, Italy and France and carry on the pedigree of great European traditions and masters—the Paris Conservatoire, the University for Music and the Performing Arts Vienna, and the Menuhin Academy—as well as the influence of celebrated American ensembles, such as the Guarneri, Tokyo, and Juilliard quartets. This mélange of musical training and backgrounds imbues their performances with distinctive freshness, inventiveness and musical depth.
“The group played like they had been together for years … with freedom, drive, and risk-taking that were quite astonishing in a debut performance … the luftpausen were taken with complete unanimity, the senza vibrato moments showed perfect tuning, and the sections with vibrato were actually synchronized … Though there are already plenty of fine quartets before the public, I nevertheless encourage this quartet sine nomine to get a name and a performing life.”
- Boston Musical Intelligencer on the debut performance of the then-unnamed Arabella Quartet
In addition to performing as the Arabella Quartet, its members enjoy varied individual careers and bring to their quartet life a mature musicality and sense of equality. Julie Eskar is first concertmaster of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, as well as a founding member of the acclaimed Eskar Trio. Sarita Kwok holds the Adams Endowed Chair in music, and is professor of music and Chair of the Department of Music at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. Eskar and Kwok rotate in their roles as first and second violinists in the quartet. Ettore Causa is the viola professor at Yale’s School of Music. Alexandre Lecarme is a tenured member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Cello Quartet.
The Arabella Quartet's debut CD, titled In the Moment was released by Naxos Records in May, 2017. An innovative program that explores time, place and mood through a series of short pieces, the disc was named Album of the Week by ClassicFM who declared it, "an album well worth dipping into, exceptionally well played." In November 2017, the world's leading string periodical, The STRAD, described In the Moment “as a fine disc, the Arabella digging deep to produce performances of great intensity and poise.”