Schubert: Quartettsatz in c minor, D. 703 (Signum Quartet)
The Signum Quartet has made its mark (lat.signum) on the international quartet scene in virtue of its energetic and lively interpretations, and has established itself as one of today’s most exciting young ensembles. The quartet has enjoyed support from Bayer Kultur as part of its stART cultural programme and as ensemble of the 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 embarked on extended tours to Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, and has appeared at music festivals including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival, Aldeburgh, BBC Proms, and Aix-en-Provence.

Recently, the quartet debuted at the Cité de la musique in Paris and performed at the Wigmore Hall in London, at the Berlin Konzerthaus and the Philharmonie Luxembourg. Bruno Mantovani is writing a new string quartet for the ensemble. Performaces will take place in Vienna, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Luxembourg and Amsterdam.

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 works 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’. A new recording called “soundescapes” with works by Ravel, Debussy and Adès has been released in 2015 (Capriccio). A recording of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances featuring Nils Mönekemeyer followed (Sony) and the latest CD is called “Alla czeca” (Suk, Schulhoff, Dvorak) and has just been released.

The Signum Quartet has just launched its new project called #quartweet which invites composers of all ages and abilities to tweet them a short quartet of 140 notes or less on Twitter. Composers like Bruno Mantovani, Sebastian Currier, Konstantia Gourzi, Steven Mackey and many more already announced to send quartweets.

October 2015