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·The Philharmonia Quartet

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“Four of the best” is how the London Press described the Philharmonia Quartet Berlin after their debut performance at Wigmore Hall. Lord Yehudi Menuhin added, “I’d like to hear music always played as beautifully as you play.” And indeed, since its foundation in 1985, the Philharmonia Quartet Berlin has established itself as a world-renowned string quartet, be it in Europe, the U.S., Japan, or South America. The Media often calls them the “top-flight ensemble” as they have set a new bar with their homogenous sound and flawless interplay. The ensemble plays regularly in the “Kammermusiksaal” of the “Berliner Philharmonie, ” and holds guest performances at prestigious concert series events around the globe, such as at Carnegie Hall in New York and Wigmore Hall in London. They also regularly appear at music festivals, such as the “Salzburger Festspiele” in Austria. Along their journey they have captured a variety of audiences including Pope Benedikt XVI during a private event concert, and the Spanish Royal family in the Palacio Real when performing on family-owned Stradivari instruments. Three of their numerous recordings, including Reger, Shostakovich, and Britten won the German Schallplattenpreis and were named “outstanding” recordings by the German newspaper “Suddeutsche Zeitung.” For Beethoven’s string quartet op. 130 and the great fugue op.133 the Philharmonia Quartet Berlin received the ECHO-KLASSIK-Preis twice. Furthermore, the quartet received the Argentine Critic Prize in Buenos Aires. The quartet caught international attention and thrilled the audience of the Berliner Philharmonie with their performances of the Beethoven- and Shostakovich-cycles. Their versatile and adventurous repertoire now includes over 100 pieces. It spans from the Classical period to the 20th Century, and includes rarely performed string quartets, such as Hindemith’s Nr. 4, Reger op. 74, Schulhoff Nr. 1, and Szymanowski Nr. 1 and Nr. 2. Up until the sudden death of the cellist, Jan Diesselhorst in February of 2009, the string quartet played in their original cast. Dietmar Schwalke has now followed into Jan’s footsteps. With him the quartet has been able to preserve their characteristic homogenous sound and harmonious interplay and continue to perform worldwide. Their two recent recordings include Beethoven’s Rasumovsky Quartets op.59 (2014) and the three Brahms Quartets (2015).

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