The string quartet is among the cornerstones of classical chamber music. Ever since Joseph Haydn established the mold towards the end of the 18th century, it has been one of the test stones for many of the great composers. We are therefore looking forward to introducing our own quartet seminar for young quartets already at this summer’s Lofoten Piano Festival 2020.
When composing for a quartet, you are naked and no weaknesses can be hidden. At the same time, it is also easier and cheaper to assemble four good musicians than an entire orchestra. Many of the great composers’ masterpieces are in precisely the quartet form, and their significance and popularity have remained to this day. It is more popular today than ever to play a quartet.
Young string players are also attracted by the opportunity to participate more actively in the musical process, unlike playing in an orchestra where they are told to a greater extent how it should be. An explosion of festivals has also made this a much larger labor market than before.
This is also true in Norway, where not least the Oslo Quartet Series has contributed a great deal of interest, both through the series’ concerts, but also with a successful educational work that has given the capital, in particular, a number of young quartets. Here “our own” Engegård Quartet has played a big role.
Quartet seminar for the first time in Lofoten
We will also contribute to this work and will establish our own seminar for young quartets for the summer. Here they get a head teacher in the German cellist Eckart Runge, a long-time musician in one of the most recognized international quartets: Artemis.
In collaboration with Runge, we have selected three quartets:
Quartet Saphir, consisting of four musicians of 13 years from Oslo.
Sonoro String Quartet, consisting of four musicians aged 16-19 from Oslo. Sonoro also participated in the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival 2019.
Barbican Quartet, consisting of four musicians aged 21-23 from London.
The quartets are taught and rehearsed in the mornings during the festival, but will be looking around Lofoten at a number of informal concerts during the day. They will also be “warm-up bands” at some concerts in the main program. We have also created a separate quartet concert where they will be shown in a whole work.
Of course, they will also attend breakfast concerts and finals.