A graphic featuring Dallas String Quartet on a stage. The show is called "Strings Unleashed"

Dallas String Quartet is a crossover ensemble that seamlessly fuses both Contemporary Classical music and electric strings. With their “Love Always” album ranking #2 on “Billboard’s” Classical Albums chart and a massive following on Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube, the ensemble has received critical acclaim. Their passionate performances and unique style keep Dallas String Quartet  expanding their influence. Newberry Opera House was thrilled to conduct an exclusive interview with Ion Zanca, Melissa Priller, Valory Hight and Young Heo of Dallas String Quartet (DSQ) shortly before their show date; what’s DSQ all about? 

Every musician or group has their influences and catalysts that inspire their creation and performances. Dallas String Quartet has specific influences that motivated their creation as a group. They explained, “our desire to create the ensemble originated from a passion to perform the music we like, and having a unique voice. There is no one specific musical genre that inspired our careers as musicians. Rather, our enjoyment of multiple different genres motivated our musical careers, especially our decision to incorporate different genres together.” 

“At the beginning we were concerned about keeping the traditional string quartet format but over time we decided to expand the number of musicians, styles, and musical effects.”

DSQ also mentioned that “as a group, we all have been inspired by ‘Trans-Siberian Orchestra.’ Ion Zanca, Producer and Violinist, says he was heavily influenced by Sting and ‘Turtle Island String Quartet,’ while Valory Hight’s main inspiration is ‘Lucia Mirialli.’” The group’s musical influences also determine what songs they most enjoy performing. “Melissa Priller’s favorite song to perform is ‘Kashmir,’ Ion’s favorite to perform is ‘Summer’ by Vivaldi, and Valory’s is ‘Back in Black,’”- the one everyone knows.

The quartet seamlessly incorporates two genres of music to create something truly unique.  “We once heard that change creates opportunity, and we use this as a way to grow {…} The best way to describe our creative process would be ‘eclectic.’ We found that the best method that works for us is to get together, perform the song, and see how we can improve it and put our own spin on it.” The ensemble expands, “our vision is to see what others cannot see. We start with songs with similar tempos and keys, then we see how the melodies can flow from one another to create something new. {We also} want our music to help audiences understand that it does not necessarily matter when good music has been written. Whether it was written 10 years ago or 200 years ago, good music will always stand the testament of time.” 

With the group blending different types of music, new fans may be wondering if one genre outshines another. The ensemble addresses this question, detailing that “The performance at Newberry Opera House this month is our “Strings Unleashed” Rock Show, which emphasizes Classical Rock hits and upbeat, energetic music. We have created some cool mashups of Pop songs and Classical songs with Rock hits!” Over time, Dallas String Quartet has evolved their music into something truly refined. 

Aside from their pre-established accomplishments, DSQ gives us an insight about their upcoming projects. “We are currently working on an original album– something completely different for us. This album is based on a marginalized group that was persecuted during World War II.” When we asked about their upcoming trip to the Opera House, they told us, “We hope Newberry will have an evening of singing, laughing, and good memories with us. We hope they don’t think they’re coming to a traditional string quartet concert. This is an energetic show with electric light up violins and we actually play as a sextet with drums and guitar!” 

Don’t miss this electrifying show that seamlessly synergizes Contemporary Classical music with energetic Rock and Pop beats on February 29, 2024 at 8pm. “Dallas String Quartet, String Unleashed” guarantees audiences will enjoy an excellent performance with a unique perspective. Get your tickets today from the Newberry Opera House Box Office, or on the official Newberry Opera House website to witness this lively performance. 


Brandon Ruff