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String Quartet

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Biography

“It must have been a stroke of luck that brought these four musicians together to form an ensemble.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

We owe it to the same stroke of luck that the Diogenes Quartet celebrated its 20th anniversary this past season.

Founded in Munich in 1998, these four musical idealists worked together in their early years with such outstanding ensembles as the Amadeus Quartet and the LaSalle Quartet. Besides the masterpieces of the classical-romantic repertoire, they focus on performing unknown and contemporary compositions. They cultivate a close working relationship with the Munich composer Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle, recently giving the première of his Third String Quartet and receiving the dedication of his Fourth.

Their itinerary encompasses not only the Würzburg Mozart Festival and the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier but regular tours of nearby and distant countries. Highlights of the past include a tour of Mexico, and this year they will give guest performances in Italy and continue their regular tours of Spain, where among other things they will perform Bohuslav Martinů’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra.

Among their chamber music partners are Anna Prohaska, Tyler Duncan, Lydia Dubrovskaya, Priya Mitchell, Hariolf Schlichtig, Roland Glassl, Wen-Sinn Yang, Nabil Shehata, Thorsten Johanns and the Henschel Quartet.

The ensemble also has a penchant for crossover programmes, as when they thrilled audiences with ‘A Dream of Brahms’, played jointly with the jazz quartet of violinist Max Grosch. No less important to them is music outreach, as can be seen in their many children’s concerts, workshop recitals and chamber music clinics. Since 2015 they have also been active as cultural ambassadors for SOS Children’s Villages.

The discography of the Diogenes Quartet is as long as it is varied. In addition to many première recordings, they produced a highly acclaimed complete set of Schubert quartets for the Brilliant Classics label. In autumn 2019 their recording of Max Reger’s String Sextet and Clarinet Quintet will be released on cpo.

The quartet owes its name to their longstanding friendship with Rudolph C. Bettschart, the former co-owner of the Swiss publishing firm Diogenes, who deeply impressed them with his personality and career and will always remain lovingly enshrined in their memory.

Diogenes Quartet
Stefan Kirpal, violin
Gundula Kirpal, violin
Alba González i Becerra, viola
Stephen Ristau, cello

Biography and Photos for download: click here
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Upcoming concerts

Postponed dates tba