Leonkoro Quartett

String Quartet

Jonathan Schwarz
Violin I
Amelie Wallner
Violin II
Mayu Konoe
Viola
Lukas Schwarz
Cello
It is and remains a rarity for four young people to come together and - in their joint string quartet work - develop and radiate a sense of necessity for this royal class of chamber music. The Leonkoro Quartet has accomplished this in breathtakingly short time.
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!The Leonkoro Quartet receives the MERITO String Quartet Award!
20.10.2022

“You can feel how passionate they are about playing String Quartet“ 

 

…says Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartett), the initiator of the MERITO Award which is being awarded every four years. Unlike other classical competitions the musicians are not aware of them being rated by a high profile jury throughout one whole year. During this long period of time, the ensemble proves its artistic level „unobserved“. Part of the jury is e.g. Veronika Hagen (Hagen Quartet), Mathieu Herzog (formerly Quatuor Ébène) and Irvine Arditti (Arditti Quartet).

 

„Furthermore (…) also the human warmth and charisma which distinguishes these four young people was crucial for our decision. It was never about showing off, but about a musical matter of the heart.“

 

For the Leonkoro Quartet, this surprising award marks a particularly beautiful ending of a very successful year.

The MERITO String Instruments Trust will now support the ensemble for four years with e.g. the allocation of a commissioned composition which will be premiered at the Wiener Konzerthaus.

!!Congratulations!! 

Biography

„The Leonkoro Quartet [...] has an enormous stage presence, glows for the music, takes full risks and amazes with its empathy for the respective sound of the pieces [...]“
The string quartet, founded in Berlin in 2019, could hardly be described more aptly than in the review published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in January 2022.'

The ensemble is framed by brothers Jonathan and Lukas Schwarz on 1st violin and cello, with Amelie Wallner on 2nd violin and Mayu Konoe on viola providing the middle voices. Leonkoro, in Esperanto: Lionheart, alludes not coincidentally to Astrid Lindgren's children's book about two brothers, a book that juxtaposes the grave fact of dying with a large and heartfelt portion of consolation - a meaning the quartet's music is also dedicated to in not a few places.

The year 2022 is a year of awards for the Leonkoro Quartet:
In March 2022, the ensemble was honored with the coveted and highly endowed Jürgen Ponto Foundation Music Prize which is awarded every two years to an outstanding string quartet.
In April 2022, the four musicians won 1st prize at the International String Quartet Competition at Wigmore Hall London and were also awarded 9 out of 12 special prizes. These included the prize for the best performance of a work from the 19th century, the Britten Pears Young Artists Programme Prize, the Leeds International Concert Series Prize and the Esterházy Foundation Prize.
In May 2022, the ensemble was awarded with the 1st prize at Quatuor à Bordeaux Competition. They were able to convince not only the top-class jury, but also the audience who awarded them the Audience Prize as well as the Young Audience Prize. At the end of the month, they were appointed to the prestigious BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists program, of which the quartet will be a part from 2022 - 2024.
This was followed by the MERITO String Quartet Award in November 2022. Unlike a classical competition, the five selected ensembles do not know that they will be evaluated by a jury - made up of renowned string quartet musicians - over the course of a year and will demonstrate their artistic level in concerts. The MERITO String Instrument Trust will support the ensemble for four years with among other things, a composition commission.

In the summer of 2021, the Leonkoro Quartet got off to a brilliant start on the international stage when it became the youngest formation to be awarded 2nd prize (the 1st prize was not awarded) and the coveted Audience Prize at the highly renowned international string quartet competition Premio Paolo Borciani.
In the same year, the ensemble won 1st prize in the Chamber Music Competition of the Alice Samter Foundation and was awarded 2nd prize in the Ton und Erklärung competition of the Kulturkreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft.

In addition to studying chamber music with Heime Müller at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, the quartet has been studying with Günter Pichler (Primarius Alban Berg Quartet) at the Chamber Music Institute of the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía Madrid since 2020 with the generous support of Santander Consumer Bank AG.
The Leonkoro Quartet is fostered intensively by members of the Artemis Quartet at the Berlin University of the Arts. The four musicians received further artistic impulses from Alfred Brendel, Reinhard Göbel, Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartet) and Luc-Marie Aguera (Quatuor Ysaye).

During the 2022/2023 season, the Leonkoro Quartet will perform at venues including the Konzerthaus Berlin, CAPE Ettelbruck, Alte Oper Frankfurt, the VIBRE Festival in Bordeaux, the String Quartet Festival in Heidelberg and the Dresden Music Festival. In addition, the ensemble will begin its three-year residency in Leeds and will play two concerts at Esterhazy Castle.

The Leonkoro Quartet is a Pirastro Artist.

2022/2023
„Clearly this is an ensemble with an exceptional future […]”Gramophone, April 2022
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Linda Uschinski (Department Head), Ramona Wiener

Images

Programme

2023 / 2024
Program I

Schubert: String Quartet No. 9 in G minor, D173
Janáček: String Quartet No. 1 “Kreutzersonate” or Rihm: String Quartet No. 9 “Quartettsatz”
***
Beethoven: Streichquartett No. 7 in F major, Op. 59 No. 1

Program II

Haydn: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 20 No. 3, Hob. III: 33 (No. 3 of “Sonnenquartette”)
Rihm: a String Quartet
***
Schumann: String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41 No. 3

Program III
Autumn 2023
Webern: Slow movement for String Quartet (1905)
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3 F major, Op. 73
***
Brahms: String Quartet No. 1 C minor, Op. 51 No. 1

Schedule

18.01.2023
20:00 Uhr
DE / Oldenburg - Saal des ehemaligen Landtags
Leonkoro Quartett
04.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
DE / Wolfratshausen -
Leonkoro Quartett
08.02.2023
18:00 Uhr
SE / Malmö - Palladium
Leonkoro Quartett
09.02.2023
20:00 Uhr
DE / Frankfurt am Main - Alte Oper Frankfurt Mozartsaal
Leonkoro Quartett
10.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
DE / Coburg - Congreßsaal am Rosengarten
Leonkoro Quartett
17.02.2023
DE / Bocholt -
Leonkoro Quartett
18.02.2023
19:30 Uhr
DE / Buchholz - Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium Aula
Leonkoro Quartett
19.02.2023
DE / Hamburg - Elbphilharmonie Großer Saal
Leonkoro Quartett
24.02.2023
13:00 Uhr
GB / Aldeburgh - Jubilee Hall
Leonkoro Quartett
03.03.2023
13:00 Uhr
GB / Snape Maltings - Britten Studio
Leonkoro Quartett
11.03.2023
DE / Bonn -
Leonkoro Quartett
24.03.2023
DE / Kassel -
Leonkoro Quartett
26.03.2023
11:00 Uhr
DE / Neuss-Holzheim - Insel Hombroich
Leonkoro Quartett
28.03.2023
IT / Turin -
Leonkoro Quartett

Videos

Leonkoro Quartet - Robert Schumann: String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41, No. 3
Leonkoro Quartet - Vibre! International competition - Final
Leonkoro Quartet - Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in B minor, Op. 33, No. 1
Leonkoro Quartet - Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 4
Leonkoro Quartet - Anton Webern: Fünf Sätze für Streichquartett op. 5
Leonkoro Quartet - Franz Schubert: Quartettsatz in C minor, D. 703

Contact

Linda Uschinski (Department Head)
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 717
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Ramona Wiener
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 723
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713