Doyle Armbrust

Chicago violist Doyle Armbrust graduated with honors from Northwestern University and went on to study with Donald McInnes at the University of Southern California where he earned a Masters Degree in Viola Performance. Doyle is a founding member of the Spektral Quartet and principal violist of the Firebird Chamber Orchestra in Miami, FL.

After returning to Chicago having completed a three-year fellowship in the New World Symphony as rotating principal violist under Michael Tilson Thomas, Doyle began an active freelance career including commercial engagements as sideman for Eddie Vedder, The Beach Boys, Richard Marx, Lupe Fiasco, and Peter Gabriel. Positions not involving pyrotechnics include sectional coach of the DePaul and Roosevelt University orchestras, as well as adjunct viola instructor at the University of Chicago, where the Spektral Quartet is ensemble-in-residence.

A rabid advocate for new music, Doyle is a core member of Ensemble Dal Niente as well as a contributing writer for Time Out Chicago, Beats Music, and the Chicago Tribune.

Doyle Armbrust appears in the following:

New Morse Code's 'Simplicity Itself' Glows with Intimacy and Investigation

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The latest from cello-percussion duo New Morse Code is a spectacular display of intimacy and discipline, between composer and performer, and between the players themselves.


Poetry and Technique on Exquisite Display in Mariel Roberts' 'Cartography'

Monday, May 22, 2017

On cellist Mariel Roberts' latest album, "Cartography," the technique is superlative, but the album is also a feat of inspired and divergent programming. Listen all week. 


Ted Hearne and The Crossing's 'Sound From the Bench'

Monday, April 17, 2017

Composer Ted Hearne’s arms must be exhausted, carrying around that giant mirror that he so effectively holds up to modern life. Listen to his ‘Sound From the Bench’ all this week.


Opera Company Trades Limo Seats for Earbuds with 'Hopscotch' Disc

Monday, January 16, 2017

How can a site-specific opera – one in which audiences were shuttled around Los Angeles in limos, side-by side with performers – translate to the static medium of a recording?


Yarn/Wire's 'Currents Vol. 4'

Monday, December 26, 2016

Comprised of two percussionists and two keyboardists, Yarn/Wire is releasing a "Currents" album each year to give voice to the theatrical and the exploratory. Listen to volume 4 today.


Carolina Eyck's Theremin Mines New Expressive Possibilities

Monday, October 31, 2016

Carolina Eyck’s "Fantasias for Theremin and String Quartet" embraces the instrument’s eerie ability to embody the human voice and its seemingly interstellar range. Listen all week.


Listen: Christopher Tignor Mesmerizes with 'Along a Vanishing Plane'

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sensual, often melancholy, and expansive, Christopher Tignor's Along a Vanishing Plane is record for drawing the drapes and tucking into a pillowy sofa. Listen all week.

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Tenor Sax Quartet Battle Trance Returns with Scorching 'Blade of Love'

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tenor sax quartet Battle Trance's latest album, 'Blade of Love,' ferries the listener forward, allowing not a moment of hesitation in which to consider skipping ahead. Listen now.

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Lewis Pesacov, The Industry and wild Up Offer Doomsday Delirium

Monday, July 18, 2016

Los Angeles-based chamber opera rebels from The Industry pair up with new-music daredevils in wild Up for Lewis Pesacov’s portentous "The Edge of Forever." Stream the album all week.


Cello Ensemble's Collective Virtuosity Shines in 'shadow, echo, memory'

Monday, July 11, 2016

'shadow, echo, memory' moves the cello choir into new territory. Stream the Northwestern University Cello Ensemble's latest — with tracks by Kernis, Ligeti and Fauré — all week.


Mivos Quartet's Full Course 'Garden of Diverging Paths'

Monday, June 13, 2016

Music eats literature and literature dines on music, and Mivos Quartet’s "Garden of Diverging Paths" is an album of beautiful cannibalism. Stream the full album all this week.


Cellist Michael Nicolas's Debut 'Transitions' Slides, Pummels and Seduces

Monday, May 16, 2016

"Transitions" — the debut album by cellist Michael Nicolas (Brooklyn Rider, International Contemporary Ensemble) — makes a strong case for the interdependence of cello and electronics.


Listen: Clint Mansell's Gritty Score to 'Requiem for a Dream' Issued on Vinyl

Monday, April 11, 2016

In celebration of Record Store Day 2016, Nonesuch has released Clint Mansell's indelible soundtrack to Darren Aronofsky's 'Requiem for a Dream' on deliciously chunky 180g vinyl.


Skylark Vocal Ensemble Delivers Engrossing Meditation on Death

Monday, March 14, 2016

The nectarous new release "Crossing Over," from Atlanta and Boston-based a cappella vocal ensemble Skylark, lives at the intersection of existence and the void. Stream it all this week.


Third Coast Percussion Offers Empathetic 'Steve Reich'

Monday, February 08, 2016

Third Coast Percussion’s ability to gently manipulate time, as heard on their new Steve Reich album, translates to a listening experience that is both buoyant and penetrating.


Jóhann Jóhannsson's Relentless, Ritualistic 'Sicario' Soundtrack

Monday, December 14, 2015

Relying heavily, and successfully, on low brass, strings and heavy-boned percussion, "Sicario" establishes its bleak worldview early on and never lets go of the listener’s collar.


Dawn of Midi's Qasim Naqvi Offers a Sci-Fi Companion with 'Preamble'

Monday, November 16, 2015

"Preamble," the debut solo release from Dawn of Midi drummer Qasim Naqvi is a companion to a sci-fi film installation, but works powerfully as a stand-alone piece of art.


Violist Melia Watras Spans Earthy and Luxurious Sounds in 'Ispirare'

Monday, October 26, 2015

If ass-kicking in classical music could be likened to that of late-80’s-to-early-90’s action heroes, Melia Watras is a Jean-Claude Van Damme of the viola. Stream "Ispirare" now.

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Jane Antonia Cornish's 'Continuum' Unfolds With Wistful, Melancholic Beauty

Monday, September 14, 2015

English composer Jane Antonia Cornish makes a strong impression with "Continuum," a collection of wistful chamber music played by the ensemble Decoda.

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Iceland's Anna Thorvaldsdottir Imagines Fantastical Landscapes

Monday, August 24, 2015

It is simply too simplistic to say that Anna Thorvaldsdottir is "inspired by nature,” as has become the shorthand in describing composers hailing from Iceland.

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