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Cuarteto Quiroga Availability
March 5 – 18, 2021
What the critics say:
“A beautiful tone combined with an unblemished technique.”
— The Strad
“… an impressive visit…”
"Its program was exquisite: precise, perfectly balanced, interpretively fresh performances, consistently couched in warm hues..."
— The New York Times
“...luminous, animated, sensitive...“
“…grace, lightness and vitality…”
— Ara Barcelona
— Muenchner Merkur
“…everything vibrates, breathes, is full of emotion and full of life.”
— Le Monde, Paris
“In the Quiroga's masterful readings, music reaches the boiling point.”
— Tidningen Kulturen, Stockholm
Aitor Hevia, violin | Cibrán Sierra, violin
Josep Puchades, viola | Helena Poggio, cello
Spanish National Music Award 2018
Cuarteto Quiroga, winner of the 2018 National Music Prize of Spain and appointed first quartet-in-residence in charge of the Royal Collection of decorated Stradivarius instruments at Madrid's Royal Palace, has established itself as one of the most dynamic and unique quartets of its generation, winning international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for its distinctive style as well as its bold and original approach to the string quartet repertoire
Prizewinners of several major international string quartet competitions (Bordeaux, Paolo Borciani, Genève, Beijing, Fnapec-Paris, Palau Barcelona), the ensemble appears at main halls and festivals in Europe; Wigmore Hall London, Philharmonie Berlin, Les Invalides Paris, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, De Doelen Rotterdam, Auditorio Nacional Madrid, Heidelberger Fruehling, Davos Festival, Auditori de Barcelona, Palau de la Musica, Stockholm's Nybrokajen, the Orlando Festival in Holland, and in the Americas, at the Frick Collection, New York, National Gallery, Washington DC, the University of California, San Diego, Oberlin College, Ohio, Teatro Solis, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, amongst others. The quartet has been recorded and broadcast on radio and TV throughout Europe and was awarded the Spanish National Radio Culture Prize (Premio Ojo Critico).
The quartet frequently collaborates with musicians such as Martha Argerich, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Veronika Hagen, Joerg Widman, Valentin Erben, Alain Meunier, Javier Perianes,
Committed to the teaching of chamber music, the quartet holds the String Quartet Chair at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Aragon (Zaragoza, Spain), and is regularly invited to give masterclasses and courses at universities and conservatories in Spain, throughout Europe, and in the U.S.
Some recent highlights: the quartet returned to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Wigmore Hall in London, toured in Colombia and the U.S., and performed concerts in Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Poland. It completed a six-concert residency at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, where it performed the entire op. 20 by Haydn, the six Mozart "Haydn-Quartets" and the complete works for quartet by Kurtag, including a premiere commissioned especially for this concert cycle.
2015-16 highlights included their successful debut at New York's Lincoln Center, performances in Paris, London. Geneva, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, and many more.
Their five CD-albums (COBRA & Harmonia Mundi), have been acclaimed by the international press and awarded several prizes and distinctions. Statements ( Haydn, Webern and Sollima) won the “CD of the year 2012 Award; (R)evolutions (early music of Schönberg, Webern and Alban Berg), among several distinctions, was named “Exceptional CD” by Scherzo, Spain’s leading music magazine. There were two releases in 2016: Frei Aber Einsam (Brahms Opus 51 quartets) and—with pianist Javier Perianes—the piano quintets of Granados and Turina (Harmonia Mundi) followed by the album TERRA ( Bartók, Ginastera & Halffter).
Also the three latest recordings have already been praised by such prestigious reviewers as The Strad, Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine (UK), Luister (NL), El País (Spain), Fanfare (USA) and have already received awards and recognitions from several magazines (Scherzo, Pizzicato, Ritmo, Melómano, ICMA, etc.) and broadcasting international corporations. In 2019 now the quartet released Heritage, the Music of Madrid in the time of Goya.
Since its founding, Cuarteto Quiroga has studied with Rainer Schmidt in Madrid, Walter Levin of Basel; Hatto Beyerle at the European Chamber Music Academy. It has been influenced by András Keller, Gyorgy Kurtág, Johannes Meissl, Eberhard Feltz and Ferenc Rados.
The group takes its name from the Galician violinist Manuel Quiroga, one of the most outstanding string players in Spanish music history.
Cibrán Sierra, with the other members of the Quartet, would like to thank Paola Modiano's heirs for the generous opportunity to play, in her memory, the 1682 Nicola Amati violin “Arnold Rosé.”
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More what the critics say:
“They are masterworks, masterfully played by Perianes and Cuarteto Quiroga.” (Granados and Turina Piano Quintets)
“Beautifully written, potent in ideas and neatly structured it fully merits the luminous, animated, sensitive performances that Perianes and the Quiroga give it.” (Turina Piano Quintet)
“It was breathtaking the way the Spaniards played Brahms String Quartet in A-minor, op. 51,2, how they highlighted the fine texture of the work with a feel for the contrasts: sensibility and passion, quiet listening and firm answers, depth of feeling and brusqueness, transparency and emphasis, with a solid but slender tone. Jubilant, spontaneous applause and loud cries of “Bravo” followed. One could have safely shouted ‘Olé’!”
— Muenchner Merkur
“A historic concert. Of the quartet's superb performance this can be said: considered by critics to be one of the main young ensembles of Europe, their international prestige is widely recognized and in this concert they did honor to their fame: perfect intonation, flawless balance, perfectly clear textures, and a sound of such volume and quality as we could attribute to the best of chamber orchestras.” [Mozart's Requiem, in string quartet version]
— La Voz de Galicia
The enthuastic reading by Cuarteto Quiroga, ardent and well-blended, confirmed that this ensemble’s early promise, concert after concert, is turning into mature reality.”
— Scherzo (Madrid, December 2010)
"Cuarteto Quiroga was in my view the highlight of the festival: their performance of Alban Berg op.3. In their hands this music turns into a masterpiece of expressionism.”
— Gefle Dagblad (Sweden, 8th August 2010)
“In the Quiroga's masterful readings, music reaches the boiling point.”
— Tidningen Kulturen (Stockholm, Sweden, 9th August 2010)
“I am not amazed by the list of the prizes won, their appearances or the professional engagements of this group, but by the way the play: wonderfully, phrasing in an exquisite way, thanks to an utmost delicate dynamic game which brings out some daunting pianissimos which show a rare ability to control balance and volume. The sonic signature of the group is appealing, a result of a very intense work which is indispensable to acquire this perfection, not only to achieve impeccable resolution of the most difficult sections, but—mainly—to accomplish the identity of the timbre and perfect hierarchy of the sonic layers. Everything was played at a high level. But where the high level of this group became most evident was with the hard and overwhelming music of Webern which left the audience in awe. The concert finished with a standing ovation.”
— La Opinion
“With their Haydn everything vibrates, breathes, is full of emotion, and is, as in the first movement, full of life. In Alban Berg they reach your gut, giving a dramatic, fulminating explosion that leaves everything trembling. With Beethoven, these instrumentalists let their interpretative qualities shine. The very expressive but rigorous Iberians give everything their heart and joy, as strong in the painful intimacy of the third movement (where they create a tension sharp as a knife) as in the cutting end-phrases. Special mention to the leader, Aitor Hevia, impeccable in all registers.”
— Le Monde (Paris)
“A Quartet of Smiles. The four instrumentalists are truly homogenous and show a true joy of playing. A real pleasure to observe. They impress with clarity, attention to detail, breathing, sound production, and exemplary phrasing. No ornaments or unnecessary embellishments: A direct style delivered with an irreproachable technique.”
— Concertonet (Oviedo)
“A top quartet. An energetic performance, rich in nuances. The different layers of sound found in compositions by Mozart, Bartók and Beethoven showed a profound understanding of these works. Unity in musical interpretation between the four voices was the basis for this exemplary performance. Listening: that seems to be the guideline that these four string players follow in their approach.”
— La Nueva España ,Asturias
“The quartet thanked the audience with a Webern miniature that was on the edge of silence.”
— Frankfurter Allgemeine
“... the audience responded enthusiastically to the performance of these wonderful works [Mozart K499 and Dvorak Piano Quintet] and the beautiful sound of David Kadouch and the Cuarteto Quiroga...”
— El País, Madrid-Santander
“Their interpretation was impeccable [Bartók third quartet]. With this work Cuarteto Quiroga has proved to have joined the first tier of string quartets.”
— Mundoclásico, Madrid
“After a dramatic and dark Schubert, carefully laid out, the quartet reached the highpoint of the concert with the brilliance and effect of Lalo's String Quartet op. 45. Their performance was flawless, and the audience awarded the members of Cuarteto Quiroga with well-deserved applause.”
— Ideal , Granada
“An excellent Spanish Quartet! The balance and conceptual unity exhibited by these players…, the elegance, the well-paced tension, the carefully measured expression... this is a quartet which belongs to the premier league of this type of ensemble.”
— Mundoclásico Salta, Argentina
“The Spanish Cuarteto Quiroga was a great surprise. The players showed admirable qualities: lovely sound, perfect intonation and committed phrasing. Spain is producing real talent in a field that was rarely entered into that country.”
— Buenos Aires Herald, Buenos Aires
“A good quartet. This ensemble has a string core in the second violin and the cellist, a good leader … and a consistent violist. They have a good sound, a calibrated homogeneous vibrato, quick reaction and a good comprehension of the tension and internal rhythms of music. Excellent qualities: Congratulations!”
— La Vanguardia, Perelada, Barcelona,
“Cuarteto Quiroga shone with ideal collaboration, ensemble sound, and balance. They dug deep into the music and found the work's core, its meaning and its soul. It does not get better than this!!”
— Arbetarbladet, Sweden,
“The finale was absolutely sensational, with technical prowess, sense of style and extraverted substance.”
— El Correo Vasco, Bilbao