Amer. str. qt. founded 1969 by its 1st vn., Shmuel Ashkenasi, with 3 colleagues from professorial staff N. Illinois Univ. Orig. members were Pierre Menard (2nd vn., succeeded by Mathias Tacke), Nobuko Imai (va., succeeded by Jerry Horner, Bernard Zaslav, and Richard Young), and Marc Johnson (vc.). First European tour 1972–3. London début 1974.