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This ensemble was formed in the mid-'80s as the brainchild of Mike Marshall, an internationally acclaimed mandolin player best known for his work with David Grisman and Montreux. Marshall was looking for a way to bring respectability to an instrument primarily known for bluegrass and quaint folk tunes. Toward this end, he established a string-quartet-style group featuring the extended family of mandolin instruments. Marshall and Dana Rath play standard mandolins (which take the place of violins), John Imholz plays mandocello (with a range similar to the cello), and Paul Binkley holds up the middle with his mandola (the alto counterpart to the viola). Together they interpret well-known classical works and premiere newly commissioned compositions of "serious mandolin music." ~ Linda Kohanov, Rovi