Leipzig Quartet

Since its founding in 1988, the Leipzig String Quartet has garnered the attention of international critics and audiences with its distinctive dark timbre and meticulously sculpted interpretations of a widely varied repertoire. Formed originally by the string principals of the renowned Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Quartet continues to uphold the principles of sound and integrity ascribed to this great orchestra. Called “one of the towering and most versatile quartets of our time” by the Neue Zuercher Zeitung and lauded by The New York Times for presenting “rich, mellow, unadulterated beauty” and a true “Leipzig sound,” the Quartet is considered one of the world’s great chamber ensembles.

Today, the Quartet performs widely throughout Europe and North America at major halls and festivals. Since 1991, the Quartet has had its own “Pro Quatuor” series at the Gewandhaus, where it has offered a multi-year cycle of the major quartets of the First and Second Viennese School in addition to premières and performances of new works by Alfred Schnittke and Wolfgang Rihm. In addition, the Quartet tours twice annually throughout North America. Recent appearances include performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wolf Trap, the Library of Congress, and chamber music series in Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ottawa, and Toronto. Recent seasons have seen the Quartet perform to wide acclaim at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge with jazz great Steve Wilson, participate in three separate Beethoven cycles within a ten-day period — each with a different program, and debut the Leipzig’s new initiative: offering a “choose-your-own-Beethoven” program in which the audience selects the three Beethoven quartets to be performed an hour before the concert.

Having released over sixty recordings of repertoire spanning Mozart to Cage, the Quartet has received numerous recognitions for these projects. Strings magazine proclaimed the Quartet’s recordings of the complete string quartet works of Franz Schubert to be “of the highest order, the interpretations bracing and intense, and the recordings themselves ideal in clarity, richness of sound, and naturalness of acoustics.” Fittingly, the Quartet has won prizes from the German Record Reviewers and both the ECHO and Diapason d’Or awards.

As a member of the Leipzig Ensemble Avantgard, the Quartet remains on the forefront of contemporary music and is able to satisfy its desire to continually perform new music and interact regularly with composers.

The Quartet enjoys collaborating with other artists to enrich and expand its already enormous repertoire. The ensemble has performed and recorded with Alfred Brendel, Marc-André Hamelin, Joseph Kalichstein, Christian Zacharias, Menahem Pressler, Jörg Widmann, and acclaimed klezmer clarinetist Giora Feidman, among others.