Indivisible by Four A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmony

Arnold Steinhardt

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

320 Pages



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The Guarneri Quartet is fabled for its unique longevity and high-spirited virtuosity. Here is its story from the inside—a story filled with drama, humor, danger, compassion, and, of course, glorious music.

A player who studies and performs the exalted string-quartet repertoire has opted for a very special life. Arnold Steinhardt, tracing his own development as a student, orchestra player, and budding young soloist, gives a touching account of how he and his intrepid colleagues were converted to chamber music despite the daunting odds against success. And he reveals, as no one has before, the intensely difficult process by which—on the battlefield of daily three-hour rehearsals—four individualists master and then overcome the confining demands of ensemble playing.


Praise for Indivisible by Four

"I have never read a more exhilarating account of the mysterious business of making chamber music . . . Masterfully done."—Charles Michener, The New York Observer

"As one-fourth of what may be the longest-running string quartet in musical history, Arnold Steinhardt is ideally equipped to describe the life and times of a world-renowned musical ensemble. It's a wonderfully informative and entertaining memoir. Please read this book."—Gary Graffman, Curtis Institute Newsletter

"I enjoyed this tremendously. Arnold Steinhardt's account of the joys and ordeals of a life in chamber music is charmingly written and marvelously entertaining. It is also very touching because one feels his love of music on every page."—Richard Goode

"The Guaneri Quartet [is] known for the elegance, charm, clarity and passion of their playing, and Steinhardt's writting has all the same virtues."—Justin Davidson, Newsday

Reviews from Goodreads