Ysaye Quartet

Formed in 1984, when its members were students at the Paris Conservatoire, the Ysaye Quartet studied with the Amadeus Quartet and also worked with Hatto Beyerle of the Alban Berg Quartet and Walter Levin of the LaSalle Quartet. In 1987 the group won second prize at the Trapani competition in Italy, and in 1988 took first prize at the Evian competition in France and second prize at Portsmouth.

In the 1990s it began recording for Decca, Aeon and Harmonia Mundi, and later released discs under its own label, Ysaye Records. Acclaimed for its interpretations of the Debussy and Ravel quartets, and the Fauré piano quartets and quintets with Pascal Rogé, the Ysaye Quartet also recorded quartets by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Franck and Haydn — the latter complementing the group's five-year cycle of all 68 Haydn quartets at the Besançon Festival.

The ensemble has shown a strong engagement with contemporary music, premiering works by such composers as André Boucourechliev, Eric Tanguy, Pascal Dusapin, Frank Krawczyk, Thierry Escaich and Friedrich Cerha. A similar dedication to teaching is centred on the advance string quartet course that the group established in 1993 at the Paris Conservatoire, where students have included some of the leading young French ensembles, among them the Ebène, Voce, Modigliani and Hermès quartets.

Late in 2012, the ensemble announced that it would cease performing in January, 2014, using its last months to concentrate on performances of Beethoven.