Quatuor Ébène

String Quartet

Pierre Colombet
Violin
Gabriel Le Magadure
Violin
Marie Chilemme
Viola
Raphaël Merlin
Cello
Over the past two decades Quatuor Ébène has explored everything from Beethoven and Bartók to Astor Piazzolla and Wayne Shorter.
The ensemble's telepathic understanding, artistic daring and musical individuality make for edge-of-the-seat concert experiences, intensely focused and touched by visionary insights.
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Frankfurt Music Prize 2019 goes to Quatuor Ébène

The award is given annually within the framework of the Musikmesse trade fair in Frankfurt and honours personalities who have made a special contribution to the international music scene and culture.

The Trustees of the Frankfurt Music Prize acclaim Quatuor Ébène as an outstanding ensemble whose electrifying playing is characterised by passion, complete fidelity to the original works and a simultaneous delight in improvisation. Through their seemingly effortless crossover into the world of jazz, the musicians have succeeded in increasing public awareness of the string quartet as the elite of chamber music, as well as attracting more people, especially younger people, to the concert halls.

Biography

„A string quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band“ wrote the New York Times after a 2009 performance by the Quatuor Ébène. The ensemble opened with Debussy and Haydn and then improvised on a film music theme—with exactly the same enthusiasm and passion.
What began in 1999 as a distraction in the university’s practice rooms for the four young French musicians has become a trademark of the Quatuor Ébène, and has generated lasting reverberations in the music scene. The four breathe new life into chamber music through their consistently direct, open-minded perspective on the works. Regardless of the genre, they approach the music with humility and respect. They change styles with gusto, and yet remain themselves: with all the passion that they experience for each piece, and which they bring to the stage and to their audiences directly and authentically.

There is no single word that describes their style: they’ve created their own. Their traditional repertoire does not suffer from their engagement with other genres; rather, their free association with diverse styles brings a productive excitement to their music. From the beginning, the complexity of their oeuvre has been greeted enthusiastically by audiences and critics.

After studies with the Quatuor Ysaÿe in Paris and with Gábor Takács, Eberhard Feltz and György Kurtág, the quartet had an unprecedented victory at the ARD Music Competition 2004. This marked the beginning of their rise, which has culminated in numerous prizes and awards.

The Quatuor Ebène’s concerts are marked by a special elan. With their charismatic playing, their fresh approach to tradition and their open engagement with new forms, the musicians have been successful in reaching a wide audience of young listeners; they communicate their knowledge in regular master classes at the Conservatoire Paris.

The quartet was one of the award winners of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in 2007 and received support from the BBT between 2007 and 2017.

In 2005, the ensemble won the Belmont Prize of the Forberg-Schneider Foundation. Since then, the Foundation has worked closely with the musicians, who are performing on instruments chosen with and loaned by Gabriele Forberg-Schneider since 2009.

Pierre Colombet
Violin by Francesco Rugeri, Cremona (ca.1680) | Bow by Charles Tourte (Paris, 19th century)

Gabriel Le Magadure
Violin with a Guarneri label (mid 18th century) | Bow by Dominique Pecatte (ca.1845)

Marie Chilemme
Viola by Marcellus Hollmayr, Füssen (1625) prior possession of Mathieu Herzog

Raphaël Merlin
Violoncello by Andrea Guarneri, Cremona (1666/1680)

In 2019 the Quatuor Ébène will be awarded the Frankfurt Music Prize. The Trustees emphasized that the musicians have succeeded in increasing public awareness of the string quartet as the elite of chamber music, as well as attracting more people, especially younger people, to the concert halls.

The Quatuor Ébène’s CDs, featuring recordings of music by Haydn, Bartók, Debussy, Fauré, Mozart and the Mendelssohn siblings have won numerous awards, including the Gramophone Award, the BBC Music Magazine Award and the Midern Classic Award. Their 2010 album “Fiction” with jazz arrangements, has only solidified their unique position in the chamber music scene, as well as their 2014 crossover CD “Brazil,” a collaboration with Stacey Kent, and their recent recording with Michel Portal, „Eternal Stories“ (Mai 2017).
„It’s an elegant album, and probably the Ébène’s most mature contemporary record thus far.”The Strad, November 2017
In fall 2014, Erato released „A 90th Birthday Celebration“, a live recording (on CD and DVD) of Menahem Presslers birthday celebration concert with the Quatour Ébène in Paris. In 2015/2016 the musicians focussed on the genre of the „Lied“. They collaborated with Philippe Jaroussky for the CD „ Green (Mélodies françaises)“ which won the BBC Music Magazine Award 2016 and published a Schubert CD. On the one hand, it includes Lieder, recorded with Mathias Goerne (aranged for string quartett, baritone and bass by Raphël Merlin) and on the other hand, the string quintett, recorded with Gautier Capuçon.

The fundamental classical repertoire for string quartet will remain a cornerstone: this season, the Quatuor Ébène will focus on Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartets. The quartet will indeed present the complete Beethoven cycle in 2020 for their 20th anniversary as well as for 250th jubilee of the composer.

From April 2019 through January 2020 the Quatuor Ébène will go on a world tour with the theme "Beethoven Live Around the World" with concerts in North America, South America, Africa, India, Australia & New Zealand, Asia and Europe. The Quartet will guest in concert halls including the Perelman Theater Philhadelphia, Sala São Paulo, Melbourne Recital Centre, and the Konzerthaus Vienna.

2018 / 2019
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Contact: Linda Uschinski

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Programme

2020
Beethoven Cycle

For the Beethoven Year and the quartet’s 20th anniversary the Quatuor Ébène will present the Beethoven String Quartet Cycle.

April 2019 - January 2020
Beethoven Live Around the World

The Quatuor Ébène will travel around the world to play Beethoven’s String Quartets in different countries on 6 continent.

Season PDF download

Schedule

07.01.2019
20:30 Uhr
Paris, FR / Philharmonie de Paris
Quatuor Ebène, Martha Argerich, Nicholas Anglich, Iddo Bar-Shai, Akane Sakai, Renaud Capuçon, Mayu Kishima, Quatuor David Oistrakh, Vahan Mardirossian, Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian, Sirba Octet
29.01.2019
19:30 Uhr
Liestal, CH / Stadtkirche
Quatuor Ebène
30.01.2019
20:00 Uhr
Yverdon-les-Bains, CH / Le Château
Quatuor Ebène
31.01.2019
20:30 Uhr
Toulon, FR / Eglise Saint-Paul
Quatuor Ebène
02.02.2019
18:15 Uhr
Les Diablerets, CH / Temple de Vers-l'Eglise
Quatuor Ebène
03.02.2019
17:00 Uhr
Biel, CH / Logensaal
Quatuor Ebène
05.02.2019
20:00 Uhr
Neuss, DE / Zeughaus
Quatuor Ebène
17.03.2019
18:00 Uhr
Leipzig, DE / Gewandhaus zu Leipzig
Quatuor Ebène
18.03.2019
20:00 Uhr
Luxemburg, LU / Philharmonie de Luxembourg
Quatuor Ebène
19.03.2019
20:15 Uhr
Rotterdam, NL / Concertgebouw De Doelen
Quatuor Ebène
20.03.2019
20:15 Uhr
Maasmechelen, BE / St Pieterskerk Leut
Quatuor Ebène
22.03.2019
20:00 Uhr
Lille, FR / Opéra de Lille
Quatuor Ebène
24.03.2019
16:00 Uhr
Heidelberg, DE / Alten Aula der Universität
Quatuor Ebène
26.03.2019
20:00 Uhr
Paris, FR / Maison de la Radio
Quatuor Ebène

Discography

Eternal Stories
Pierre Colombet
City Birds

Michel Portal
L'Abandonite
Judy Garland
Eternal Story
Solitudes (from Triology)

Xavier Tribolet
Élucubration

Astor Piazzolla
Tango Sensations
I. Asleep
II. Loving
III. Anxiety

Gabriel Le Magadure
Plus l'Temps

Raphaël Merlin
Le Corbillon

Adrien Boisseau
It was nice living here

Michel Portal - Clarinets, Bandoneon
Richard Héry - Percussion
Xavier Tribolet - Electronics
Fabrice Planchat - Sound

Schubert: String Quintet and Lieder
Franz Schubert
String Quintet, D 956

Lieder (arranged for String Quartet, Baritone and Double bass by Raphaël Merlin)
Die Götter Griechenlands, D 677
Der Tod und das Mädchen, D 531
Der Jüngling und der Tod, D 545
Atys, D 585
Der liebliche Stern, D 861

Matthias Goerne - Baritone
Gautier Capuçon - Cello
Laurene Durantel - Double bass

Green (Melodies francaises sur des Poemes de Verlaine)

Ferre: Colloque sentimental; Ecoutez la chanson bien douce
Faure: Mandoline; C'est l'extase; Green; En sourdine; Prison; Spleen; Clair de lune; La lune blanche luit dans les bois
Severac: Prison
Szulc: Clair de lune
Debussy: En sourdine; Fantoches; Clair de lune; Mandoline; Il pleure dans mon coeur; Green; Les Ingenus; Le Faune; Colloque sentimental
Chausson: Ecoutez la chanson bien douce; Apaisement
Bordes: O triste, triste etait mon ame; Promenade sentimentale
Saint-Saens: Le Vent dans la plaine
Chabrier: Air de Fisch-Ton-Kan; Air de Poussah
Hahn: En sourdine; Chanson d’automne; D’une prison
Honegger: Un grand sommeil noir
Massenet: Revons, c’est l’heure
Varese: Un grand sommeil noir
Caplet: Green
Poldowski: L’Heure exquise; Colombine; Mandoline
Trenet: Verlaine
Schmitt: Il pleure dans mon coeur
Koechlin: Il pleure dans mon coeur
Canteloube: Colloque sentimental
Brassens: Colombine

Philippe Jaroussky - Countertenor
Jerome Ducros - Piano
Nathalie Stutzmann - Contralto

A 90th birthday celebration - Live in Paris
CD & DVD
CD
Antonín Dvořák
Piano Quintet, Op. 81

Franz Schubert
Piano Quintet, D 667, "The Trout"

DVD
Antonín Dvořák
Piano Quintet, Op. 81

Franz Schubert
Piano Quintet, D 667, "The Trout"
Winterreise, D 911 ( V. Der Lindenbaum, XI Fruhlingstraum, XV Die Kraehe, XXIV Der Leiermann)

Claude Debussy
String Quartet, Op. 10 (3. Andantino, doucement expressif)

Frédéric Chopin
Nocturne C-sharp minor, op. posth.

Recorded LIVE at Salle Pleyel, Paris on November 7th, 2013.

Menahem Pressler - Piano
Christopher Prégardien - Tenor
Benjamin Berlioz - Double bass

Brazil

O‘gringo with Bernard Lavilliers (Music & Lyrics: Bernard Lavilliers)
So Nice with Stacey Kent (Music & Lyrics: Marcos Valle, Paulo Valle / Adaptation: Norman Gimbel)
I Can’t Help It with Stacey Kent (Music & Lyrics: Stevie Wonder / Susaye Greene)
Ana Maria (Music: Wayne Shorter)
Fragile with Stacey Kent (Music & Lyrics: Sting)
Guitar Song with Bernard Lavilliers (Music & Lyrics: Bernard Lavilliers)
Àguas de Marços with Stacey Kent & Marcos Valle (Music & Lyrics: Tom Jobim)
Bebê (Music: Hermeto Pasquale)
The Ice Hotel with Stacey Kent (Music & Lyrics: Jim Tomlinson, Kazuo Ishiguro)
Salomé with Bernard Lavilliers (Music & Lyrics: Bernard Lavilliers)
Libertango (Music: Astor Piazzolla)
Smile with Stacey Kent (Music: Charlie Chaplin / Lyrics: Geoffrey Parsons, John Turner)
Brazil Odyssey with Brazil Choir & Brazil String Orchestra (Music: Pierre Colombet, Gabriel Le Magadure, Mathieu Herzog, Raphaël Merlin, on a theme by Ary Barroso / Lyrics: Bob Russell)

Stacey Kent - Voice
Bernard Lavilliers - Voice
Marcos Valle - Voice
Jim Tomlinson - Saxophone
Richard Héry - Percussion
Mino Cinelu - Drums

Felix & Fanny
Felix Mendelssohn
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 13
String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80

Fanny Mendelssohn
String Quartet in E-flat major

Mozart: Dissonances
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet, K 421
Divertimento, K 138
String Quartet, K 465, "Dissonance"

Fauré: The complete chamber music
Gabriel Fauré
Disc No. 1
Sonata No. 1, Op. 13
Berceuse, Op. 16
Romance, Op. 28
Andante, Op. 75
"Morceau de Lecture"
Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2, Op. 108

Disc No. 2
Sonata, Op. 109
Elegy, Op. 24
"Papillon", Op. 77
Romance, Op. 69
Serenade, Op. 98
Sicilienne, Op. 78
Sonata No. 2, Op. 117

Disc No. 3
Trio for Piano and Strings, Op. 120
String Quartet, Op. 121

Disc No. 4
Piano Quintet, Op. 15
Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 45

Disc No. 5
Piano Quintet No. 1, Op. 89
Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 115
Morceau de lecture (for two Cellos)

Renaud Capuçon - Violin
Gautier Capuçon - Cello
Gérard Caussé - Viola
Nicolas Angelich - Piano
Michel Dalberto - Piano

FICTION - DVD
Fiction... ... at The Folies Bergères - Live in Paris
Recorded on November 15th, 2010

Stacey Kent - Voice
Natalie Dessay - Voice
Jim Tomlinson - Saxophone
Richard Héry - Percussion

FICTION

Misirlou after Pulp Fiction (Milton Leeds / Fred Wise / N. Roubanis / S. K. Russell)

Amado mío (Doris Fisher / Allan Roberts)
Luz Casal (vocal)

Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez)
Raphaël Merlin, Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Come together (John Lennon / Paul McCartney) Songs
Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Unrequited (Bradford Mehldau)
Pierre Colombet (solo)

Intro Calling you
Richard Héry (drums solo)

Calling you after Bagdad Café (Bob Telson)
Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Corcovado (Antonio Jobim)
Stacey Kent (vocal)

Nothing Personal (Don Grolnick)
Gabriel Le Magadure, Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Footprints (Wayne Shorter)
Pierre Colombet (solo), Richard Héry (drums)

Lilac Wine (James Shelton)
Fanny Ardant (vocal)

Smile (John Turner-Geoffrey Parsons/Charles Chaplin)
Quatuor Ebène (voices), Raphaël Merlin (solo), Richard Héry (drums, chorus)

Someday my prince will come after Snow White and the seven dwarfs (Larry Morey/Frank Churchill)
Pierre Colombet (bass), Mathieu Herzog, Gabriel Le Magadure (lead voices),
Raphaël Merlin (soprano), Pierre Colombet (solo)

Somewhere after "Over the rainbow" after The Wizard of Oz
Natalie Dessay (vocal), Mathieu Herzog (solo)

7-29-04 The Day Of after Ocean's 12 (David Holmes)
Mathieu Herzog (funk guitar and solo), Pierre Colombet (Ruggieri Violin from the 17th century),
Richard Héry (drums)

Streets of Philadelphia after Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen)
Mathieu Herzog (vocal), Richard Héry (drums)

(All bass parts played by Raphaël Merlin)

Fanny Ardant - Voice
Luz Casal - Voice
Natalie Dessay - Voice
Stacey Kent - Voice
Richard Héry - Percussion

Brahms: Quartet & Piano Quintet
Johannes Brahms
String Quartet, Op. 51 No. 1
Piano Quintet, Op. 34

Akiko Yamamoto - Piano

Ravel - Debussy - Fauré
Claude Debussy
String Quartet, Op. 10

Gabriel Fauré
String Quartet, Op. 121

Maurice Ravel
String Quartet F major

Bartók: String Quartets
Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7, Sz. 40
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, Sz. 67
String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85

Haydn: String Quartets
Joseph Haydn
String Quartet, Op. 64 No. 5
String Quartet, Op. 33 No. 1
String Quartet, Op. 76 No. 1

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Contact

Linda Uschinski
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 717
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713