The Ensemble by Aja Gabel is a captivating debut novel. We initially meet the members of the Van Ness Quartet as they give their conservatory graduation recital. Led by Jana on the first violin, with Daniel, Henry, and Brit playing the other instruments, the quartet combines formidable talent with highly divergent personalities. The book follows the fortunes of these musicians through the years. The character development is pitch perfect, with the challenges and competitiveness of the classical music world brought to life.