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July 2017
Feb. 2  - 13, 2018


Bennewitz Quartet

       Jakub Fiser, violin;
ěpan Ježek, violin
ři Pinkas, viola;
ěpan Doležal, violoncello

""enjoyment and vitality of a young ensemble at the height of its power"         Süddeutsche Zeitung



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Bennewitz Quartet


"The Bennewitz will soon have established itself at the very top of the international quartet world" wrote the Stuttgarter Zeitung. Now one of the world's leading chamber music ensembles, the Bennewitz Quartet was founded in 1998 by four young musicians at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and was named after the famous Czech violinist and teacher Antonin Bennewitz (1833-1926). It established its reputation by winning two leading chamber competitions - the Osaka (2005) and the Premio Paolo Borciani (2008).

Since then the quartet has performed in various international music festivals (Rheingau and Heidelberger Frühling- Germany, Lucerne Festival- Switzerland, Orlando Festival-Netherlands, and Prague Spring Festival-Czech Republic) and prominent concert halls (Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Theatre des Champs- Elysees, Herkulessaal Munich and Rudolfium Prague, Wigmore Hall, London, the Konzerthaus Wien, Seoul Arts Center and the Frick Collection, New York).

The quartet has become known for its "drama, expression, and utmost sensitivity" Strad as well as their richly differentiated sound culture and interesting programming. Its broad repertoire spans from Bach fugues, to the classical canon to the contemporary, and includes many lesser-known works. The quartet has championed Czech music including works by excellent and unjustly neglected composers such as Reicha, Haas, Ullmann, Schulhoff and others, and has performed the Martinu Concerto for String Orchestra with the Czech Philharmonic under Jiri Belohlavek.

Of its CD of works by Bartok and Janacek, Fonoforum testified to their "fiery temperament" and found that they had a "sovereign balanced sound culture.". described their recording of the string quartets of Smetana as "simply phenomenal". Their recording of Dvorak Cypresses with baritone Martin Bruns was released in 2013. An all-Dvorak recording will be released in the fall of 2015. Besides CDs, the Bennewitz Quartet has made several recordings for Czech Radio and Television, as well for a number of radio and television companies abroad (SWR, RD and NWR- Germany, Radio 4-Netherlands, ORF-Austria, Radio Clasica-Spain, STV Radio, Yomiuiri TV-Japan)

During the 2014/2015 season the quartet worked with outstanding artists such Alexander Melnikov, Vadim Gluzman, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Isabelle Faust. The quartet also gave the Czech premiere of John Adams' Absolute Jest with the Prague Radio Symphony.

While studying with Rainer Schmidt of the Hagen Quartet, and then with the great pedagogue Walter Levin of the former La Salle Quartet at the Musikakademie Basel- (where the Bennewitz Quartet was itself "quartet in residence"), the quartet started gathering prizes, including Laureate of the Chamber Music Society of the Czech Philharmonic, the award of the Spanish Queen for best chamber music ensemble of 2002/2003, as well as two special prizes at the ARD Music Competition in 2004.

The quartet is supported by the Viennese string maker Thomasik-Infeld.




 last updated 01/08/2017



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