UTRECHT STRING QUARTET
The Utrecht String Quartet is one of the most renowned chamber-music ensembles, known internationally for its versatile and dynamic approach. Resident in the Netherlands, the musical world of the Utrecht String Quartet is borderless and boundless, and whichever work its musicians choose to play, it is their general policy to avoid any hint of treating them like museum exhibits. Even when it comes to traditional works, the musicians succeed in discovering elements that can be interpreted anew, or in finding unusual concert locations in which to perform them. However, it is mainly because of their search for lost or forgotten repertoire and for their collaboration with contemporary composers that the members of the Utrecht String Quartet have gained their excellent reputation in the music world.
This versatility has featured strongly in the quartet’s international tours, which have recently taken them to countries such as France, Germany, Australia and to the internationally famous Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland. As reported by the Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat: “their performance is simultaneously intellectual, analytical and strongly expressive”.
In April 2000, the Utrecht String Quartet made its debut in England, at the Conway Hall in London, followed, in 2003, by a concert at the Wigmore Hall. The USQ has been a regular guest in London ever since. In the Netherlands, the USQ takes part in all the important chamber music series; such as those at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at Vredenburg in Utrecht and at the Frits Philips Music Centre in Eindhoven, to name just a few. In addition, the four musicians have performed at the Palace on the Noordeinde in the Hague at the invitation of Queen Beatrix. In July 2010, the USQ made its debut in Canada (Ottawa Chamber Music Festival) and in the United States (e.g. Library of Congress, Frick Collection).
The quartet is also active pedagogically and as Quartet in Residence is responsible for the chamber-music class of the Utrecht Conservatory. It has established a successful collaborative relationship with other notable chamber-music performers such as Michael Collins, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Isabelle van Keulen, Pieter Wispelwey, Thomas Oliemans, Arno Bornkamp, Christianne Stotijn, Pauline Oostenrijk, Ivo Janssen, Nobuko Imai, Ralph van Raat and Alexander Madzar. In addition to its extensive concert programme, the USQ also performs for radio and television transmissions and for CD recordings. A sizeable collection of its CDs have appeared under the MDG label. There have been excellent reviews of these recordings in all the well-known music periodicals such as Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Fanfare and Fono Forum.