Schubert: Quartettsatz in c minor, D. 703 (Signum Quartet)
The Signum Quartet has made its mark (lat.signum) on the international quartet scene by virtue of its energetic and lively interpretations, and has established itself as one of today’s the most exciting young ensembles. Founded in 1994, the ensemble has been playing in its present formation since 2007. The quartet has enjoyed support from Bayer Kultur as part of its stART cultural programme and recently completed two seasons as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme. 

Intensive studies with the Alban Berg Quartet, Artemis Quartet and the Melos Quartet, as well as collaborations with György Kurtág, Walter Levin, Alfred Brendel, Leon Fleisher and Jörg Widmann have characterised the artistic development of the Signum Quartet, a laureate of numerous awards: the German Music Competition, Premio Paolo Borciani, ICMC Hamburg and the London International String Quartet Competition, where they won the Audience Prize.

Chamber music partners of the quartet include Jörg Widmann, Igor Levit, Leonard Elschenbroich, Adrian Brendel, Christian Ihle Hadland, Eckart Runge (Artemis Quartett), Nicolas Altstaedt, Mark Simpson and Carolin Widmann.

The quartet has performed throughout their native Germany including at the Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Philharmonie Essen and Beethoven-Haus in Bonn; Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall, London; the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; as well as venues across Finland, Norway, Switzerland and France. At the invitation of the Goethe Institute, the young ensemble regularly embarks on extended tours to Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.  It has appeared at music festivals including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival, Aldeburgh, BBC Proms, and Aix-en-Provence.

Initiated by the Villa Musica foundation, the quartet was invited to record a CD with the SWR radio station presenting works by Schumann and Haydn, including the world première recording of Jörg Widmann’s 1st String Quartet. In 2009, the Signum Quartet began recording for Capriccio Vienna and their first release – a CD of quartets by Ludwig Thuille – was awarded the Supersonic in Luxemburg, which they followed in 2012 with a recording of movements by Schubert, Rihm, Wolf, Ives and Orff. Their most recent recording ‘No.3’ released in May 2013, presents quartets by Bartók, Schnittke and Berg, and in January 2014 was announced as recipient of the International Classical Music Award’s 2014 ‘Best Chamber Music Recording’.

The Signum Quartet has appeared on radio stations in Germany and abroad and their concerts have been regularly broadcast on TV channels including SRF, ORF and Arte. 

July 2014