Since it was founded in 1977 the Chanticleer String Quartet has brought what one critic called, "a new dimension of music to the Midwest". The quartet reaches thousands of listeners annually through its Summer Music Festival and its children's programs which take place throughout the year. The Chanticleers perform not only in the usual concert venues. They make a special effort to reach people in rural communities, state hospitals, juvenile centers, nursing homes, inner cities, housing development complexes and community centers. Each summer a guest artist joins the quartet in a program that encourages an awareness of international and intercultural understanding. Music ranges from classical to jazz, contemporary to tango. The musicians talk about the pieces being played and take time after each performance to visit with their audience.