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Siete qui: Home Festival Artisti 2012 Keller Quartet
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KELLERFounded in 1987 at the Liszt Conservatory of Music in Budapest, the Keller Quartet already achieved their international breakthrough in 1990, winning all prizes and special awards at the Evian and Borciani Competitions. Even though the quartet members have all completed their degrees as soloists, string quartet playing has always been their first choice. Three of the Liszt Conservatory’s most renowned professors showed interest in the young musicians and can be regarded as their mentors to this very day: Sandór Devich, András Mihály and György Kurtág, who also composes works for the quartet.
The Keller Quartet is marked by musical curiosity: curiosity about encounters with musicians and composers of all genres, curiosity about unknown works and new forms of programming, where unusual combinations develop their own dramatic tension. Examples of this are their famous Bach/Kurtág program where parts of Bach’s Art of the Fugue are intertwined with works by György Kurtág and their performance of the composition Zwiegespräch for string quartet and synthesizer by Kurtág father and son at the Vienna Klangwochen festival and at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
In their attempts to connect old and new, the Keller Quartet and the composer Jörg Widmann developed a new programming idea: Jörg Widmann composed his second string quartet, the Choral quartet, relating to Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross. During the performance both pieces are interwoven, the Widmann quartet intersecting the Haydn twice between movements. The Keller Quartet premiered this program at the Sommerliche Musiktage chamber music festival in Hitzacker in July 2003 and has played it in various cities in Germany and Europe since then.
The Keller Quartet very often devises the programs for international chamber music days and short festivals where they also regularly invite their musical partners, such as Miklós Perényi, Dénes Várjon, Chen Halevi, Alexej Lubimov and Ewa Kupiec.
Their recording of the complete string quartets of Bartók for Erato caused a sensation at the time. The Keller Quartet has enjoyed links to with ECM for some time now and has recorded the Art of the Fugue by Bach as well as the complete works for string quartet by Kurtág. The year 2003 saw the release of a CD with Schnittke’s Piano Quintet (with Alexej Lubimov) and Shostakovich’s last String Quartet. A recording of all Bartók’s Duos for violins by the two violin players of the quartet also appeared on ECM. At the end of 2004 a DVD with the Bach/Kurtág-program was released by EuroArts. In 2008 Naxos released the DVD Oboe Dreams where the Keller Quartet performs together with the “legendary” oboist Heinz Holliger.
The Keller Quartet performed at the Stresa Festival in 1997.