The Carmel Quartet was founded in 2000 and is one of the longest-standing and most versatile chamber ensembles in Israel. The quartet has won prizes and awards, including First Prize in the “Prague-Vienna-Budapest” string quartet competition. The Carmel Quartet has appeared in concerts throughout the country, in Europe and the USA, including a concert at Carnegie Hall. The quartet regularly participates in prominent chamber music series and prestigious festivals, including the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival and the Voice of Music in the Upper Galilee Festival at Kfar Blum, and is admired by critics and audiences alike. In December 2013 the quartet made their debut tour in China, including an exclusive concert in the concert hall of the Forbidden City. In September 2016 the Carmel Quartet was ensemble in residence in the Corfu Music Holiday Festival, and in August 2019 the Quartet performed in the Morellino Classica Festival in Tuscany, Italy. The quartet has performed with leading artists such as the late Penina Salzmann, Alberto Mizrachi, Emanuelle Segre and Tabea Zimmermann, and regularly hosts in the Strings and More series leading artists such as Hillel Zori, Zvi Plesser, Ron Selka, Gilad Harel, Tomer Lev, Einav Yarden and Roman Rabinovich.
The Carmel Quartet is dedicated to music education and to expanding the audience for chamber music in Israel. In 2007 the quartet established a concert series with explanations and commentaries “Strings and More”, which aims to enrich the listening experience by placing the compositions performed within a wider cultural context. The series is directed by the quartet’s violist, Prof. Yoel Greenberg, senior lecturer and head of the department of music at Bar-Ilan University, who studied musicology at The Hebrew University and at Princeton. The other quartet members — Rachel Ringelstein, Tali Goldberg and Tami Waterman — enrich the explanations with theatrical excerpts and literary examples. The reactions to this series by the audience and the media alike have been singularly enthusiastic. The series is played at four centers throughout the country and also includes one concert in each series in English. The series has also been performed in the USA, the United Kingdom and Greece. The quartet is also becoming increasingly involved in music education for children.
The Carmel Quartet goes beyond the standard repertoire by commissioning new works and exposing neglected masterpieces. In recent years the quartet has performed and recorded works by Josef Tal, Erich Walter Sternberg, Paul Ben-Haim, Noam Sheriff, Oded Zehavi, Carmel Raz, Gideon Lewensohn and Uri Netanel. In the coming seasons the quartet will perform works by Menachem Zur and Yinam Leef, also playing the premiere of a quartet by Paul Ben-Haim composed in 1914. In 2011, the quartet brought to light a forgotten string quintet by Paul Ben-Haim. This quintet, which had not been performed since the 1920s (when it received highly favorable reviews), is an ambitious and important work, whose discovery makes an important contribution towards better understanding Ben-Haim’s music. The Carmel Quartet's debut CD, including quartets and quintets by Paul Ben-Haim, was issued by Toccata Classics in early 2014. The CD was reviewed by MusicWeb international (“it's hard to imagine these pieces being done better”), Fanfare Magazine (“The Carmel Quartet play with technical polish … along with obvious commitment and feeling”), Classical Lost and Found (“immaculate interpretations”) and HaAretz (“Outstanding playing, that does justice to these fine scores”).
The Carmel Quartet's series "String and More" of Explained Concerts in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Haifa, has enjoyed both critical and popular acclaim. For the benefit of the English-speaking community, a separate series is given in English in Jerusalem.
Due to the Covid-19 health crisis, the quartet created an Online concert series presented in English and Hebrew. The concerts are filmed in exceptional quality, enhancing the listening experience, and enabling the concerts to reach audiences close and afar.
The Carmel Quartet's activity is supported by the ministry of culture and sport.
Rachel Ringelstein is a founding member of the Carmel Quartet, was born in Israel in 1977 and studied with the late Avigdor Zamir, Ora Shiran and Yair Kless. She graduated from the Tel Aviv Rubin Music Academy where she studied with Irena Svetlova and was the principal violinist of the Academy Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 she won first prize at the Tel Aviv Academy String Competition and second prize in the Chamber Music Competition. Rachel has performed as a soloist with the Tel Aviv Music Academy Chamber Orchestra, with the Tel-Aviv Soloists Ensemble and with the Haifa Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in festivals in Israel and abroad, including the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival in the USA, Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Pablo Casals Festival in France and the "Classical Winter" Festival in Jerusalem. Rachel has participated in master classes with the late Isaac Stern, Miriam Fried and Zvi Zeitlin, and with members of the Borodin, Alban Berg and Amadeus Quartets.
Tali Goldberg is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music in London, where she studied with Prof Yfrah Neaman.
In 2001 Tali was a co founder of the Israel Contemporary String Quartet with whom she won prizes and played in festivals and concerts worldwide. Between the years 2011-2016 Tali was a member of the Rubens Quartet, based in the Netherlands. With the Quartet she has played in prestigious halls such as the Concertgebouw, taught many masterclasses and created educational platforms for young and students worldwide. Tali was a principal player in the Tel Aviv Soloist Ensemble and a guest player at the Camerata Nordica in Sweden. She is currently a guest player in Camerata Bern, Geneva Camerata and the Copenhagen soloists. Tali is also passionate about early music and plays on Baroque violin in Ensemble PHOENIX, Barrocade, the Jerusalem Baroque orchestra and the Israeli Mozart players. Tali is also a committed violin teacher. She teaches violin and chamber music at the Israel conservatory and Levinsky college. Tali is a member of the Carmel Quartet since 2017.
Prof. Yoel Greenberg is a senior lecturer and head of the department of music at Bar-Ilan University. A member of the Carmel Quartet since November 2003, Yoel started mediating the Carmel Quartet’s concert series Strings and More in 2007. Yoel has received numerous prizes and scholarships in both research and performance. Yoel studied violin and viola with Walter Reiter, Rimma Kaminkovsky, Prof. David Chen and Orah Shiran, and has performed as a soloist with orchestras throughout Israel, including the Tel Aviv Soloists, the Hebrew University Symphony Orchestra, and others. He holds degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science and musicology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and carried out post-doctoral research in the departments of music and evolutionary biology at Princeton University. He has published articles in leading academic venues, and his recently-completed book on the evolution of sonata form will be published by Oxford University Press. He lives in Tel-Aviv with his wife, Shlomit, and four children, Uri, Roni, Mattan and Alon.
Tami Waterman was born in Israel in 1974 Tami studied with Emanuel Gruber, Shmuel Magen and Hillel Zori. She graduate summa cum laude from the Rubin Academy at Tel-Aviv University, where she won several prizes in chamber music competitions. Tami continued her studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Yissun Kim. She has participated in several festivals, including Verbier (Switzerland), the Pablo Casals (France) and in the USA, Germany and Israel. Tami has participated in master classes with Aldo Parisot, Janos Starker, Dmitri Ferschtman, Franz Helmerson, Uzi Wiesel and with members of the Guarneri, La Salle, Alban Berg, Amadeus and Hagen Quartets.
She has been a member of the UBS Orchestra (Switzerland), the Tel-Aviv Soloists and the Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra and currently plays in the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Tami teaches cello and chamber music at several conservatories and schools.