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Schumann Quartet

The Schumann Quartet has long ceased to be an insider tip: an ensemble that gives concerts in London‘s Queen’s Hall, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Wien und the Berliner Philharmonie in just one season, as these four musicians will do, has already reached the top flight of the international music scene. But despite this, their concerts still always radiate the magic of youthful free-thinking, unbridled joy in crossing boundaries and unreserved curiosity when entering new musical territory. The Schumann Quartet has reached a stage where anything is possible, because it has dispensed with certainties. This also has consequences for the listeners, who from concert to concert have to be prepared for all eventualities: “A work really develops only in a live performance,” the quartet says.

Another highlight in the 18/19 season is its three-year residency at the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center in New York City, which began back in December 2016. Furthermore, the quartet will go on tour in Israel and twice in the US, will give guest performances at festivals in Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Bulgaria.

The three brothers Mark, Erik and Ken Schumann have been playing together since their earliest childhood. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. Those who experience the quartet in performance often remark on the strong connection between its members. The four musicians enjoy the way they communicate without words: how a single look suffices to convey how a particular member wants to play a particular passage. Although the individual personalities clearly manifest themselves, a common space arises in every musical work in a process of spiritual metamorphosis. The quartet’s openness and curiosity may be partly the result of the formative influence exerted on it by teachers such as Eberhard Feltz, the Alban Berg Quartet, or partners such as Menahem Pressler.

In May 2013 the Quartet has won the 1st Prize at the international String Quartet Competition “Quatuor à Bordeaux”, after it had already won the Competition “SCHUBERT AND MODERN MUSIC” in Graz (Austria) in 2012. The four musicians were also among the prizewinners at the renowned Paolo Borciani Competition (2011) and at the 7th International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka (2011).  The ensemble is supported by scholarships from Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz (Mainz) and the Irene Steels-Wilsing Foundation. In February 2014, the Schumann Quartet has been awarded with the 60.000 Euro music prize for chamber music by the Jürgen Ponto-Foundation.

Its last album, “Landscapes”, in which the quartet traces its own roots by combining works of Haydn, Bartók, Takemitsu and Pärt, has been hailed enthusiastically both at home and abroad, among other things receiving five Diapasons, being selected as Editor’s Choice by the BBC Music Magazine and winning the The German Record Critics’ Award (“Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”). The Schumann Quartet was already accorded the 2016 Newcomer Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in London for its previous CD Mozart Ives Verdi. Recently, in May 2018, the new album “Intermezzo” was released. The next release will be a combination of Bach’s fugues (edited by Mozart) as “promenade”, like bridges which connect contrasting composers and music, from Glass to Gershwin, Mendelssohn to Shostakovich.

> Fact Scheet 2018/2019

> press release of the new CD “Intermezzo” (EN)

> press release of the new CD “Intermezzo” (F)

> Classic Feature by Harald Eggebrecht (Süddeutsche Zeitung) on the Schumann Quartet

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