Guests at the 20th. Heidelberger Frühling Streichquartettfest are the Quatuor Agate from Paris, which is currently recording the complete Brahms quartets, the South Korean Arete Quartet, winner of the 2023 International Mozart Competition at the Mozarteum Salzburg, the NOVO Quartet from Copenhagen, which won last year's Irene Steels-Wilsing Foundation competition at the Streichquartettfest, the Spanish Cuarteto Quiroga from the top league of quartet formations, and the Ševčík Quartet from Prague, which was only founded in 2020.
In addition, Natasha Loges, professor of musicology at the Freiburg University of Music since 2022, and Oliver Wille, violinist of the legendary Kuss Quartet and professor of string chamber music in Hanover, will be workshop leaders. The director of the Brahms Institute in Lübeck, Wolfgang Sandberger, could be won for a ceremonial lecture at the beginning of the "Brahms Year".
Adrien Jurkovic violin
Thomas Descamps violin
Raphaël Pagnon viola
Simon Iachemet violoncello
Founded in 2016 and based in Paris, Quatuor Agate studied with Eberhard Feltz at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin, with Mathieu Herzog in Paris, and with Quatuor Ebene at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Munich. In 2021, they were award winners at the YCAT International Auditions. In 2020 they won the Audience Award of the Irene Steels-Wilsing Foundation Competition at the Heidelberger Frühling String Quartet Festival. In 2022 they were prize winners of the Banff International String Quartet Competition. Highlights of the season include debut concerts at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Alte Oper Frankfurt and Britten-Pears Arts in Aldeburgh. They return to the Lammermuir Festival at the Wigmore Hall and can be heard with Quatuor Modigliani at the TauberPhilharmonie Weikersheim and with Quatuor Diotima at the Long Night of String Quartets in Munich. Furthermore, they record all Brahms quartets for Appassionato Records. The quartet is Artist in Residence at the Fondation Singer Polignac and at Pro-Quartet in Paris, as well as Associate Artist at La Breche festival in Savoie. Since 2021, they have been required by the Günther-Caspar Foundation. In 2016 they founded the CorsiClassic Festival with the aim of bringing chamber music to remote places on the island.
Chae-Ann Jeon violin
Dong-Hwi Kim violin
Yoon-sun Jang viola
Seong-hyeon Park violoncello
Formed in September 2019, Arete Quartet unanimously passed Kumho Art Hall's Young Chamber Concert audition and subsequently made its debut at Kumho Art Hall Yonsei in South Korea. In 2021 it won 1st place at the Prague Spring International Music Competition and other special prizes, including the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Prize. In addition, the Arete Quartet received two special prizes at the International String Quartet Competition PREMIO PAOLO BORCIANI 2022 for the "best performance for string quartet commissioned by Toshio Hosokawa" and a scholarship from Jeunesses Musicales Germany. At the International Mozart Competition of the Mozarteum University Salzburg 2023 they won the 1st prize of the string quartet division as well as the traditional special prize of the Mozarteum Foundation for the best Mozart interpretation. The string quartet has already performed throughout Europe and was invited again to the Prague Spring International Music Festival. The quartet members are currently studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and are scholarship holders of Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now e.V. The Arete Quartet studies with Prof. Christoph Poppen, Jaeyoung Kim of the Novus String Quartet, the Quatuor Ebene and with Prof. Eberhard Feltz.
Kaya Kato Møller violin
Nikolai Vasili Nedergaard violin
Daniel Sledzinski viola
Signe Ebstrup Bitsch violoncello
Founded in Copenhagen in 2018 and currently based in Vienna and Copenhagen, NOVO Quartet is one of Denmark's most promising young ensembles. It recently won the 1st prize at the 77th Concours de Genève in the string quartet category and also won four out of five other special prizes such as the Audience Prize and the Students' Prize. In 2023, the quartet received the 2nd prize at the Carl Nielsen Chamber Music Competition and the 1st prize in the Irene Steels-Wilsing Foundation competition as part of the Heidelberger Frühling String Quartet Festival. Other achievements include winning the Danish Radio P2 Chamber Music Competition 2020, the Leonie Sonning Talent Award 2021 and the 2nd prize and the special jury prize at the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition 2021. The NOVO Quartet is currently studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna as part of the ECMAster program (European Chamber Music Master) with Professor Johannes Meissl. Previously, they studied and worked for four years with Prof. Tim Frederiksen - former teacher and mentor of the Danish String Quartet - at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. The quartet received further musical inspiration from Hatto Beyerle and Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartet), Heime Müller (Artemis Quartet) or Asbjorn Norgard and Fredrik Sjolin (Danish String Quartet). The NOVO Quartet gives concerts all over Denmark, and has also performed in countries such as China, the USA, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Greenland. The NOVO Quartet was awarded the Walbusch Prize at the Insternational Jeunesses Musicales Chamber Music Campus.
Aitor Hevia violin
Cibrán Sierra violin
Josep Puchades viola
Helena Poggio violoncello
Since its foundation in 2003, the Cuarteto Quiroga has established itself as one of the most dynamic and unique quartets of its generation. His name comes from the Galician-born violinist Manuel Quiroga, perhaps the most important Spanish violinist after Pablo de Sarasate. Winner of the 2018 Premio Nacional de Musica, the Premio Ojo Critico de RNE and laureate of major international quartet competitions (Bordeaux, Paolo Borciani, Geneva, Beijing, Fnapec-Paris, Palau Barcelona), Cuarteto Quiroga became the first ensemble in residence at the Royal Palace of Madrid in 2013, responsible for the Royal Collection of the most precious Stradivari instruments at the Spanish Court. Regular stage partners include musicians such as Martha Argerich, Jörg Widmann, Javier Perianes, Clemens Hagen, Valentin Erben, Richard Lester, David Kadouch, Jonathan Brown and Cappella Amsterdam. In the fall of 2021 they presented their album "Und Es Ward Licht" (Haydn & Mozart: The Birth of a New Era), recorded together with the renowned violist Veronika Hagen. The ensemble studied with Rainer Schmidt at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid, with Walter Levin at the Music Academy in Basel and with Hatto Beyerle at the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA).
Pavla Tesařová violin
Michael Foršt violin
Matouš Hasoň viola
Adam Klánský violoncello
The Ševčik Quartet was founded in Prague in 2020 and began its studies at the Prague Conservatory with Radek Křižanovsky (Apollon Quartet). In 2021 it continued its previous studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with Štěpan Ježek (Bennewitz Quartet). It also studied with Günther Pichler at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sophia in Madrid in 2022. Meanwhile, the members of the quartet have distinguished themselves as talented and gifted performers of the young music scene. In June 2021 they won the 1st prize at the competition "Talents for Europe", reached the semi-finals of the Prague Spring International Music Competition and advanced to the finals of the Italian competition "Societa Umanitaria". The Ševčik Quartet participated in various master classes, including Musique a Flaine with Maria Chilemme (Quatuor Ebene) in France, Jeunesses Musicales Germany (Cuarteto Casals) and in Prague with Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet). The ensemble also accompanied a project initiated by Musethica in Barcelona, where it repeatedly performed a Brahms sextet together with Jonathan Brown and Erica Wise. It performs regularly both in the Czech Republic and in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain.
Natasha Loges has been Professor of Musicology since 2022, with a focus on the history of music in the 19th and 20th century at the Freiburg University of Music. After teaching at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the University of London's Royal Academy of Music, Natasha Loges taught at the Royal College of Music from 2005 to 2022. She was Head of Postgraduate Programs there from 2016 to 2022, and then Professor of Musicology from 2021. Natasha Loges studied piano at the Guildhall School and musicology and music analysis at Kings College London. She wrote her dissertation on Johannes Brahms' Lieder. Her research has been requested by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the American Musicological Society, and the Royal Philharmonic Society, among others. She is a music promoter for festivals and venues such as the Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival and Leeds Lieder. She has done radio shows for BBC Radio 3 and was a reviewer for BBC Music Magazine. She is a member of the Women's Song Forum, the Equality Network, Diversity and Inclusion in Music Studies, and the Advisory Board of the Institute of Austrian and German Music Research. In addition to her workshop leadership at the Heidelberger Frühling String Quartet Festival, Natasha Loges is a guest lecturer and advisor to Brahms.LAB at the Heidelberger Frühling Music Festival 2024.
Wolfgang Sandberger has been Professor of Musicology and Director of the Brahms Institute at the University of Music Lübeck since 1999. He studied music (violoncello with Eckhard Stahl) at the Osnabrück Conservatory and at the Hanover Conservatory as well as musicology (with Hans Joachim Marx), philosophy (with Klaus Oehler) and history (with Bernd Jürgen Wendt) in Münster and Hamburg. His doctoral thesis on "Das Bach-Bild Philipp Spittas" was awarded the prize of the Joachim Jungius-Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften. Subsequently, various publications appeared on the history of music from the 17th to the 21st century. Besides the main focus on Brahms, the main fields of research are biographical-historical, reception-historical and scientific-historical questions. In July 2022, Wolfgang Sandberger has been elected as a member of the Academia Europaea. He is also involved in music education. Between 1993 and 2003 he was "on air" as a permanent freelancer with about 150 broadcasts a year at NDR. He continues to work as an author and presenter for various ARD broadcasters, such as SWR2 Musikstunde or WDR 3 Klassikforum, and advises various festivals (e.g. Göttingen International Handel Festival). Since 2013, he has been the project director of the Brahms Festival at the Lübeck University of Music.
Violinist Oliver Wille is professor of string chamber music at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, where he oversees an internationally successful quartet class and pioneers chamber music education through creative and innovative projects. In the meantime, numerous ensembles trained by him are international prize winners and can be experienced on the important stages worldwide. With Jana Kuss, he was one of the founding members of the Kuss Quartet at the age of 14. The ensemble has been performing on all major concert stages and festivals worldwide since 2002 and has several award-winning CD recordings to its credit. Most recently, the quartet recorded the Beethoven quartet cycle on Paganini's Stradivaris live at Tokyo's Suntory Hall. In addition to a guest professorship for violin and string quartet at the Royal Birmingham Conservatory, the Berlin native is the artistic director of the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker and chairman of the project advisory board and the overall jury of the German Music Competition. Since 2019, he has been co-directing the International Violin Competition "Joseph Joachim" Hannover with Antje Weithaas. Oliver Wille is a sought-after music mediator, regularly moderates discussion concerts and leads workshops. In this capacity he has been a regular guest at the Heidelberger Frühling String Quartet Festival since 2008.