Between 1966 and 1986, Earl Carlyss was a member of the Juilliard String Quartet during which time he performed over 2100 concerts and recorded more than 100 works. Three of their recordings, the Debussy and Ravel Quartets, the Schoenberg Quartets, and the Beethoven Quartets, received Grammy Awards for the “Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year”. Since 1960 the quartet has been in residence at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and, for 9 years, at Michigan State University. In 1984 they were awarded the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts at MSU.
Mr. Carlyss, who was born in Chicago, began violin studies at the age of 10 and at 12 won a grant for his music studies from the Epstein Fine Arts Fund, administered by the Boys’ Club of America. Between 1955 and 1957 he attended the Paris Conservatoire, studying violin with Roland Charmy and chamber music with Jacques Février.
Returning to the United States in 1957, he entered the Juilliard School as a pupil of Ivan Galamian, and in 1962 he made his recital debut in New York. He went on to serve as a teaching assistant to both Galamian and to the Juilliard Quartet.
Mr. Carlyss has been the Director of the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies since 1984. This summer program is one of the premier chamber music programs in America designed for intensive study by young professional string quartets.
Between 1986 and 2001 he was the first holder of the Sidney M Friedberg Chair in Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He currently teaches violin and chamber music at the Juilliard School in New York.
He is married to pianist Ann Schein, with whom he plays frequent concerts and duo recitals.