PORTRAIT / Quartetto di Cremona

Early Haydn / op. 20/1 by Quartetto di Cremona

Monday 29.1 / 9:30

Quartetto di Cremona + Gary Hoffman + Lawrence Dutton evening concert
Tuesday 30.1 / 20:15

Emerson String Quartet + Quartetto di Cremona + Gary Hoffman evening concert
Wednesday 31.1 / 20:15

We – Cristiano Gualco, Paolo Andreoli, Simone Gramaglia and Giovanni Scaglione – are Quartetto di Cremona. When people speak about our group and how to define us, often one kind of sound is mentioned: the Italian sound. I think, as Italians, we have a tendency to follow an idea of sound coming from our national tradition, that is singing and the opera tradition. The sound of this tradition resonates in our string quartet playing.

The string quartet is a place where you have artistic freedom, the privilege of playing some of the most intense and important music of every composer, the opportunity of growing together with your colleagues a unique vision of every piece you play and of course also loads of hours sitting on a plane.

Therefor, there is no choice but to commit to this genre so intensely. The string quartet, both as a music genre and as a group, is a very fragile creature. In the first years you need to see one another every day in order to build your skills and a good repertoire. Then you need to meet every day to practise for concerts when the number of concerts grows larger every year. In that sense, a string quartet is not so different from an athlete that needs to train everyday.

All this together makes that playing in a string quartet gives its members the opportunity to hugely grow musically and artistically, more that in many other kinds of music making. What I love the most is those few times in which during a concert the music starts to play itself, and we and the public just follow it. For this to happen you need many good conditions, but when it does happen, it’s unique.

Unlike the standard relationship that we establish in order to play in a musical season, with the String Quartet Biennale, its intent to create something special for the audience and for the musicians too was always clear. Many times we have been asked to take part actively in creating ideas for the Biennale. The Biennale is surely one of the most important events for the string quartet worldwide. Being there is a privilege and an honour. For the string quartet lovers that will come to the festival, it is surely going to be something new and unforgettable.

When looking at the entire program, I imagine it must be difficult to choose what you want to hear. Personally, we would like to be part of everything! We do have one special place for playing octet with the Emerson String Quartet, which will be a memorable experience. We already played and recorded with their violist, Lawrence Dutton, whom we know quite well. As a boy I listened many times to their recordings and I always considered their playing as an example. Playing with them in an octet was one of our dreams, which now comes true at the String Quartet Biennale.




Highlights of the first Biennale

We frequently post pictures and movies on Facebook and Instagram, but for those who aren’t active on social media, we created a Flickr album containing a selection of festival highlights. Click… Read more


Press archive first edition

An overview of all press attention for the very first String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam, predominantly in Dutch:   “Speciaal festival voor strijkkwartet; gevestigde namen komen begin 2018 naar Amsterdam” Volkskrant,… Read more


Visiting the festival as a professional

The String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam offers a special policy for music professionals (promoters, agents etc.) which gives them the opportunity to buy tickets with 20% discount. Fill out the form via the link… Read more

Brendel outside wall credit Philips & Benjamin Ealovega

NEWS / Alfred Brendel confirmed

Alfred Brendel is a household name. Though a string quartet festival might not be the place you’d expect the legendary pianist. Ever since he retired as a piano player in… Read more

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Festival brochure

It’s hard to capture the festival in its entirety in one single overview. However, in our new festival brochure you can find all the information about the festival you need. From… Read more

Ruysdael Kwartet

PORTRAIT / Ruysdael Kwartet

Early Haydn / Op. 20/3 by Ruysdael Kwartet Wednesday 31.1 / 9:30 Extending String Quartet: Louis Andriessen Thursday 1.2 / 14:15 We, the Ruysdael Kwartet, are a very versatile quartet. We don’t… Read more


PORTRAIT / Quartetto di Cremona

Early Haydn / op. 20/1 by Quartetto di Cremona Monday 29.1 / 9:30 Quartetto di Cremona + Gary Hoffman + Lawrence Dutton evening concert Tuesday 30.1 / 20:15 Emerson String Quartet + Quartetto di Cremona… Read more


PORTRAIT / Doric String Quartet

First rehearsal Thursday 1.2 / 11:30 Selected by / Doric String Quartet Haydn & Adès Thursday 1.2 / 17:00 Late Beethoven / op. 130 + 133 Thursday 1.2 / 22:30… Read more


PORTRAIT / Brentano Quartet

Renaissance Soundscape Sunday 28.1 / 11:00 Brentano Quartet avondconcert Sunday 28.1 / 20:15 Selected by / Brentano Quartet Monday 29.1 / 17:00 I am Serena Canin, second violinist of the Brentano Quartet. Second… Read more

Photo: Fabio Calvelli


Masterclass – Improvisation Monday 29.1 / 11:30 Cuarteto Casals evening concert Monday 29.1 / 20:15 The music of Italian composer and cellist Lucio Franco Amanti lives somewhere between classical, jazz and pop music…. Read more


CLOSE-UP / The making of

Graphic designer Markus Langer explains how the hands became the key visual of the striking new identity of the String Quartet Biennale. The idea of the Hands At the beginning of… Read more


NEWS / Day tickets and passe-partouts

To order day tickets or passe-partouts for the String Quartet Biennale outside of the Netherlands, please contact the Box Office of the Muziekgebouw via or tel. +31 (0)20 788 2000 (Mon –… Read more


ESSAY / Cibrán Sierra Vázquez: String quartet as the Nautilus

A festival completely dedicated to string quartet? A biennale even? Why and how would this be necessary? What makes string quartet so special that it deserves such an amount of… Read more


QUOTE / Emerson String Quartet

My colleagues and I eagerly anticipate the first edition of the String Quartet Biennale in Amsterdam in early 2018 — an entire week with an intensive focus on canonic works… Read more