The Gyros String Quartet was formed by violist Norbert Gerl in
1986 to host “Classical Thursdays” at Panteli’s (now defunct and still sadly missed) on lower Greenville
Avenue in Dallas, Texas. The name for the quartet, incidentally, came straight off the
menu - Panteli’s being a Greek wine bar/restaurant - and also as a kind of joke on the famous
“Kronos Quartet” from San Francisco (we always wanted to
challenge them to a softball game and a Mendelssohn Octet, if they
were to come to town).
Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with
Chris Carrington, Vihuela (of Al DiMeola’s “World Sinfonia”) -- Chris thought that piece needed a “flamenco” approach -- imagine her surprise;
Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Associate Concertmaster Motoi Takeda performing all
five Mozart violin concertos in one evening (he probably should be in the
Guinness book of records); The “Merry Widow” in 20 minutes, featuring
Randy Erwin, baritone and Jan Ryberg, tenor, on all roles - both male and female.
Those Thursday nights quickly became a favorite hangout for
music lovers and Dallas Symphony
players, who now had a place to go after their concert to relax
and maybe “sit in” for a “jam” session.
Not surprisingly, during this time
the Gyros Quartet was nominated for several years as “Best
Classical Act” by the Dallas Observer and even had a feature story in “Detour”
Dallas Bach Society director Paul Riedo even had his harpsichord delivered
so he could participate in some Bach “Brandenburg Concertos”.
In 1989 Gyros moved to the Dream Cafe and over the next 2 and a
performed some 140+ concerts on Sundays from 7-10pm. The middle part of the evening always featured a guest soloist, sometimes in a quintet, but more often than not in a
concerto, treating the string quartet as a sort of miniature orchestra (which it is). There were few rules, but the most important was -- no
rehearsal (well, almost). Several quite serendipitous and amazing combinations
stand out: the late, great Beth Newdome, violinist extraordinaire,
By 1991, after having
exhausted most of the repertoire of concertos playable with string
quartet, both management (the formidable siblings Mary and Grady O'Brien) and the Gyros Quartet thought it was maybe time for a
Since then, the Gyros String Quartet has performed for literally hundreds of
wedding ceremonies and receptions,
parties, corporate functions and art openings. Lead by violist Norbert
Gerl and featuring the best string players in the DFW area, the
primary goal has always been make a client’s event special. Currently,
Gyros is the preferred wedding quartet for Highland Park UMC, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Royal
Lane Baptist Church, among others.