Quartetto Gelato is a Canadian new classical quartet currently composed of Peter DeSotto, Liza McLellan, Alexander Sevastian and Colin Maier, and based in Toronto, Ontario. The group was originally formed in 1989 with founding members Cynthia Steljes, Peter DeSotto, George Meanwell, and Claudio Vena, Quartetto Gelato quickly established themselves on the emerging "new classical" scene early in their career by winning the title of NPR Performance Today's Debut Artist of the Year in 1996. in 2010, they received the distinction as "Best Classical Group" at the 10th annual Independent Music Awards during Canadian Music Week.
Known for their musical versatility, the original groups' instrumental expertise has consisted of many different musical instruments including an operatic tenor in Peter DeSotto, a classical guitarist in George Meanwell and a dynamic accordionist composer and principal arranger in Claudio Vena. The first three CD releases of QG represent the founding members and instrumentation of the Group.
Their musical repertoire consists of a mix of classical masterworks and operatic arias with tangos, gypsy and folk songs from around the world. Unique in their field is their penchant for performing without musical scores and their sense of humor.
The quartet's CDs have literally been heard around the world - Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk took their first two CDs with him during his NASA flight on board the space shuttle Columbia. Despite having changed members frequently throughout the years, the Juno and Gemini nominated Quartetto Gelato persists with repeat sold-out performances throughout the globe.
- Peter DeSotto — tenor, violin, mandolin
- Alexander Sevastian — accordion, piano
- Liza McLellan — cello, bass
- Colin Maier — oboe, clarinet, English horn, guitar, mandolin, piano, saw
- Cynthia Steljes (deceased) — oboe, English horn
- Kristina Reiko Cooper — cello
- Elinor Frey — cello
- Joseph Macerollo — accordion
- George Meanwell — guitar, cello, mandolin
- Claudio Vena — accordion, viola
- Shalom Bard — clarinet
- Carina Reeves — cello
- Kornel Wolak — clarinet
- Quartetto Gelato (1993)
- Rustic Chivalry (1996)
- Aria Fresca (1998)
- Neapolitan Café (2001)
- Quartetto Gelato Travels the Orient Express (2004)
- Musica Latina (2009)
- The Magic of Christmas (2010)
- Favourite Flavours (2005)
- Quartetto Gelato - La Danza (Music Video) (1998)
- CBC's Canada Day 2004: Merci Montreal! (2004)
- Quartetto Gelato Explores Music and Wine DVD (2006)
Awards and nominations
- Quartetto Gelato — Nomination: Best Classical Album — Solo or Chamber Ensemble Juno Award.
- Quartetto Gelato — Nomination: Instrumental Artist(s) of the Year Juno Award.
- La Danza — Quartetto Gelato — Nomination: Best Photography — Comedy, Variety, Performing Arts Program or Series Gemini Award.
- La Danza — Quartetto Gelato — Nomination: Best Editing — Comedy, Variety, Performing Arts Program or Series Gemini Award.
- Canada Day 2004: Merci Montréal — Nomination: Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series Gemini Award.
- Quartetto Gelato — Winner: Best Classical Group -- Independent Music Awards