A dynamic string quartet that has played for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and has performed on stage with superstars like Ed Sheeran, Luke Combs and Ashley McBryde, will rock out for local audiences Wednesday, Jan. 31, on light-up LED instruments during at their high-energy show at the Holland Theatre.
The Dallas String Quartet is “not your grandmother’s string quartet” member Melissa Priller noted this week, and it’s not akin to watching a symphony in silence. She anticipates that the crowd might enjoy singing and dancing along to tunes that are likely to include classic rock favorites like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, AC/DC and Journey and medleys that incorporate classical and modern artists, like a mix-up of “Tchaikovsky and Coldplay.”
“We encourage people to clap along and enjoy themselves,” the violinist said. “It’s an electrified show that audiences of all ages will enjoy, from children to adults and everyone in between.”
Dallas String Quartet (DSQ) was founded in 2007 by violist Ion Zanca. Born to musical parents and grandparents in Romania, Zanca said in 2002, he moved to the U.S. at age 21 to study music, ultimately receiving a graduate degree in music performance from Southern Methodist University, where he studied with former principle of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Ellen Rose.
While DSQ was a traditional string quartet upon its founding, the producer and violist said it has evolved to include traditional and electrified instruments, also accompanied by drums, guitar and bass “for better or for worse,” he said with a chuckle.
It’s rewarding for Zanca to hear about how the group has exposed individuals, who might not enjoy attending a traditional symphony orchestra, to a wider field of music, including the classical greats in their melodic combination of “Bach meets Bon Jovi.”
“The gateway is getting people to listen to popular music they’re familiar with, and then bridging that gap with classical music,” the Dallas resident said.
In addition to Zanca and Priller, DSQ currently also features violinists Valory Hight and bassist Young Heo, alongside guitarist Joel White and percussionist Efren Guzman Jr.
“Our current artists have been playing together now for about six years,” Zanca noted, relaying the undeniable energy the group produces while on stage together or practicing together. “We like to keep the pack together.”
Priller joined DSQ in 2013. A native of Chicago, she said she began playing the violin at age 4 and later moved to Dallas, met Zanca, joined DSQ, and “never looked back.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity, getting to explore parts of the country that I never would’ve gotten to otherwise. I’ve met some of the sweetest people. We’re looking forward to being Bellefontaine for the first time next week.”
During 2023, a highlight for DSQ included performing for the Academy of Country Music Awards.
“Its was such a big night, performing with some big names (like McBryde, Sheeran and Combs) and so enjoyable for us,” Zanca said.
In 2021, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton sought out DSQ as the entertainment for their wedding. Then in October 2022, their album “Love Always” debuted at number two on the Billboard Chart in both Classical Crossover Albums and Classical Albums.
In the midst of their busy touring schedule, Zanca and Priller noted that the quartet is currently working on a new album, set to release in May or June. They also have a single slated to release Friday, Feb. 2, a cover of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire.”
Tickets for DSQ’s concert are available at the Holland Theatre’s website, https://theholland.org/.