Schumann Quartet

String Quartet

Erik Schumann
Violin
Ken Schumann
Violin
Liisa Randalu
Viola
Mark Schumann
Cello
"The hard part is not to prepare something; it’s to let the preparation go."
Erik Schumann / Schumann Quartett, Concerti, May 2017
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Biography

The Schumann Quartet has reached a stage where anything is possible, because it has dispensed with certainties. This also has consequences for audiences, which from one concert to the next have to be prepared for all eventualities: “A work really develops only in a live performance,” the quartet says. “That is 'the real thing', because we ourselves never know what will happen. On the stage, all imitation disappears, and you automatically become honest with yourself. Then you can create a bond with the audience – communicate with it in music.”
This live situation will gain an added energy in the near future: Sabine Meyer, Menahem Pressler, Andreas Ottensamer and Anna Lucia Richter are among the quartet's current partners.
A highlight in the 19/20 season is its three-year residency at the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center in New York City, which began back in December 2016. Furthermore, the quartet will go on tour twice in the US, will give guest performances at festivals in Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands and will also perform concerts in the big musical metropolises of London, Munich, Madrid, Hamburg and Berlin. In addition, the ensemble is part of the opera production “Inferno” at Opera Frankfurt and is looking forward to their annual concerts as part of its long-term residency at the “Robert-Schumann-Saal” in Düsseldorf.

Its album “Intermezzo” (2018 | Schumann, Reimann with Anna-Lucia Richter and Mendelssohn Bartholdy) has been hailed enthusiastically both at home and abroad and received the award “Opus Klassik“ in the category quintet. It is celebrated as a worthy successor to its award-winning “Landscapes” album, in which in which the quartet traces its own roots by combining works of Haydn, Bartók, Takemitsu and Pärt. Among other prices, the latter received the “Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, five Diapasons and was selected as Editor's Choice by the BBC Music Magazine. For its previous CD “Mozart Ives Verdi”, the Schumann Quartet was accorded the 2016 Newcomer Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in London.
„The "Schumanns" belong without any doubts to the best quartets in the world.”Sueddeutsche Zeitung • Harald Eggebrecht • March 10th, 2017
The three brothers Mark, Erik and Ken Schumann have been playing together since their earliest childhood. In 2012, they were joined by violist Liisa Randalu, who was born in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. Those who experience the quartet in performance often remark on the strong connection between its members. The four musicians enjoy the way they communicate without words: how a single look suffices to convey how a particular member wants to play a particular passage. Although the individual personalities clearly manifest themselves, a common space arises in every musical work in a process of spiritual metamorphosis. The quartet's openness and curiosity may be partly the result of the formative influence exerted on it by teachers such as Eberhard Feltz, the Alban Berg Quartet, or partners such as Menahem Pressler.

Teachers and musical partners, prestigious prices, CD releases – it is always tempting to speculate on what factors have led to many people viewing the Schumann Quartet as one of the best in the world. But the four musicians themselves regard these stages more as encounters, as a confirmation of the path they have taken. They feel that their musical development over the past two years represents a quantum leap. “We really want to take things to extremes, to see how far the excitement and our spontaneity as a group take us,” says Ken Schumann, the middle of the three Schumann brothers. They charmingly sidestep any attempt to categorise their sound, approach or style, and let the concerts speak for themselves.

And the critics approve: “Fire and energy. The Schumann Quartet plays staggeringly well [...] without doubt one of the very best formations among today’s abundance of quartets, […] with sparkling virtuosity and a willingness to astonish” (Harald Eggebrecht in Süddeutsche Zeitung). So there is plenty of room for adventure.

Quotes taken from an interview with journalists from the classical music magazine VAN
(van-magazin.de)

2019/2020
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Lenemarie Leukefeld, Matthias Hermann

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Programme

2021 / 2022
Programme I

Haydn: String Quartet in C major, Op. 76 No. 3 “Emperor”

Janáček: String Quartet No. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata”

***

Brahms: String Quartet in A minor, Op. 51 No. 2

or Dvořák: String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat major, Op. 105

Programme II

Pärt: Fratres for String Quartet

Berg: Lyric Suite for String Quartet

***

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat major, Op. 74 “Harp”

Programme III

Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 2 in A minor Op. 13

Ravel: String Quartet in F major

***

Mozart: String Quartet No. 19 in C major K. 465 “Dissonance”

Programme IV. 100th anniversary of Engelbert Humperdinck

Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano, one movement

String Quartet in C major

***

Quintet in G major for String Quartet and Piano

Wagner/Humperdinck: Overture to “Tristan and Isolde” for Piano, String Quartet, Cello and Double Bass

Programme V. String Quartet & Soprano
with Katharina Konradi (Soprano)

Bach: Selection from “The Art of Fugue” for String Quartet

Widmann: Versuch über die Fuge (String Quartet No. 5 with Soprano)

***

Schumann: String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41 No. 3

Schumann: Sechs Gesänge, Op. 107 (arranged for Soprano and String Quartet by Aribert Reimann)

2020 / 2021
Programme I

Haydn: String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 1 No. 1 Hob. III: 1
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 117
***
Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44 No. 2
or Grieg: String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27

Programme II

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 7 in F major, Op. 59 No. 1
***
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Programme III

Mozart: String Quartet No. 17 in B-flat major, K 458 “Hunt”
Bernard Herrmann: String Quartet “Echoes” (1965)
***
Brahms: String Quartet No. 3 in B major, Op. 67

Programme IV

Haydn: String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 17 No. 3 Hob III: 27
Ives: String Quartet No. 1 “From the Salvation Army”
***
Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11
or Schumann: String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41 No. 3

Programme V
with Anna Vinnitskaya (Piano)
February 1st - 7th 2021

Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11
Tchaikovsky: Excerpts from “The Seasons”, Op. 37 b
***
Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57

Programme VI
with Katharina Konradi (Soprano)
April 14th - 18th 2021 and Summer 2021

Bach: Selection from “The Art of the Fugue” for String Quartet
Widmann: “Versuch über die Fuge” for String Quartet and Soprano
***
Schumann: String Quartet No. 3 in A major, Op. 41 No. 3
Reimann/Schumann: Six Songs, Op. 107 (transcribed for Soprano and String Quartet)

Schedule

24.09.2020
19:00 Uhr
DE / Frankfurt am Main
Schumann Quartett
27.09.2020
19:00 Uhr
DE / Donaueschingen
Schumann Quartett, Matan Porat
04.10.2020
17:00 Uhr
BE / Brüssel
Schumann Quartett, Anna Vinnitskaya
16.10.2020
19:30 Uhr
GB / London
Schumann Quartett
25.10.2020
11:15 Uhr
CH / Zürich
Schumann Quartett, Martina Gedeck
27.10.2020
20:00 Uhr
CH / Genf
Schumann Quartett, Anna Vinnitskaya

Discography

Rosamunde – Fragment Pt. 1
Franz Schubert
String Quartet No.13 D.804 "Rosamunde"

Chiaroscuro
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Five Fugues from Bach´s The Well-Tempered Clavier, KV 4025

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Fugue in E-flat major, Op. 81 No. 4

Philip Glass
String Quartet No. 2 "company"

Dmitri Shostakovich
Two Pieces for String Quartet (1931)

Anton Webern
Six Bagatelles, Op. 9

Leoš Janáček
String Quartet No. 2 "intimate letters"

George Gershwin
Lullaby

Intermezzo
Robert Schumann
String Quartet No. 1 in A minor

Aribert Reimann
Adagio zum Gedenken an Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann / Aribert Reimann
6 Songs Op. 107 for Soprano and String Quartet

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat major

Anna Lucia Richter – Soprano

Landscapes
Joseph Haydn
String Quartet in B-Flat Major, Op. 76/4 "Sunrise"

Toru Takemitsu
"Landscape" for String Quartet

Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 2

Arvo Pärt
"Fratres" for String Quartet

Mozart - Ives - Verdi
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet in D major K. 575

Chales Ives
String Quartet No. 2

Giuseppe Verdi
Quartetto in E minor

Videos

Schumann Quartet – "Intermezzo" (Trailer)
Schumann Quartet – "Landscapes" (Trailer)
Schumann Quartet – BR Klassik | U21: Joseph Haydn's String Quartet Op. 76
Schumann Quartet – BR Klassik | U21: Robert Schumann's String Quartet Op. 41

Contact

Lenemarie Leukefeld
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 721
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Matthias Hermann
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 716
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713