Thomas Zehetmair, violin
Kuba Jakowicz, violin
Ruth Killius, viola
Christian Elliott, violoncello
The Zehetmair Quartet is renowned for its refined, intellectual interpretations characterised by a pristine, uncompromising approach. The four virtuosos perform at an exceptionally high technical level, instilling in their music an exceedingly rare combination of genuineness and remarkable expressiveness. In addition to a repertoire of widely known works, the quartet also captivates audiences with its profound understanding of contemporary music.
Founded in 1994 by Austrian violinist and conductor Thomas Zehetmair, the Zehetmair Quartet now ranks among the world’s finest string quartets. Thomas Zehetmair’s interest in works for the violin dating back to the classical romantic period as well as for contemporary components has given rise to the intriguing and varied content of the quartet’s repertoire.
One of the unique artistic feats achieved by the quartet include, among other things, its cyclical performance of all string quartets by Robert Schumann in London’s Wigmore Hall, the world premiere of string quartet no. 2 by Heinz Holliger – a work commissioned by Köln Musik GmbH for the Zehetmair Quartet. The 2009 performance by the Zehetmair Quartet during festivities celebrating the 100th birthday of Elliott Carter in New York proved to be a phenomenal success.
For its recording of Bartók’s 4th and Hartmann’s 1st string quartet as well as the 1st and 3rd string quartet by Schumann with ECM, the Zehetmair Quartet garnered awards such as the Diapason d’Or for the year, the Gramophone Award (Record of the Year) and the Edison and Klara Prize for the year’s best international production. A recording featuring string quartets no. 4 by Hindemith and no. 5 by Bartók was acclaimed as a reference recording in the media and was recognised with the Diapason d’Or for the year. The ensemble’s most recent album is dedicated to Beethoven, Bruckner, Hartmann and Holliger.
In November 2014, the Zehetmair Quartet was awarded the Paul Hindemith Prize by the city of Hanau for its outstanding musical abilities. In the 2015/2016 season, the quartet will be performing at the Edinburgh International Festival as well as the Haydn String Quartet Festival in Hungary, among others. The musicians will also be travelling to the Musikverein Vienna, the theatre in Florence and Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw.