Applauding The Cecilias

Recent award: NAMMA - North American Movie Makers Awards --The Ten Best 2009



The idea for my video occurred to me while enjoying a concert by The Cecilia String Quartet, the recipients of the  2008-’09 Joseph Fisch and Joyce Axelrod  String Quartet residency in the School of Music and Dance at San Diego State University.

I wanted to produce a documentary about these four gifted women, delving into their thoughts about being musicians, especially female musicians, and  how they strive  to survive in the competitive world of  music performance.

After the concert backstage, because we had gotten to know them personally, I received permission to make a documentary which I named, “Applauding The Cecilias”.

Over a three month period of filming, I took footage of them in the “greenroom” getting dressed for concerts, performing , daily practice sessions, playing for young audiences and also concertizing as solo musicians.

During interviews, they responded to questions, some very thoughtful and  serious.

  1. When did the group form?

  2. How did you select the Name, CSQ (Cecilia String Quartet)? What were their other choices?

  3. At what age did you start playing an instrument? Your instrument?

  4. Who gave you the most confidence to be a musician?

  5. How long do you typically practice alone each day? With the group?

  6. What do you do to put yourself "in the moment" for playing?

  7. How does the quartet prepare for a concert?

  8. What is most pleasurable about being a musician?

  9. What are the downsides?

  10. Why do you live in separate residences ?

  11. How do you adjust to each other's personalities and moods?

  12. Other than your music, do you enjoy doing anything else together?

  13. What is the best professional decision the group has made?

  14. What process does the group use to make decisions?

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Length of full version: 15:39


The Cecilia String Quartet was awarded First Prize at he Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC) in 2010. Following six days of juried concerts focusing on classical, Romantic, and contemporary repertoire, the winner was chosen from a group of the world’s most accomplished young string quartets.