Esen Kıvrak violin
Özgür Baskın violin
Efdal Altun viola
Çağ Erçağ cello
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 5, op. 18/5
Burhan Öçal Eski Istanbul
In a subtle reference to Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, six festival days kick off with an Early Beethoven, in place of the previous festival’s Early Haydn series. Characterised by clarity, tension, humour and elegance, these quartets do not reflect the mature Beethoven’s complex and contrary character; instead, they reveal a young, ambitious Beethoven, embarking on the creation of an unparalleled quartet oeuvre.
Beethoven modelled his string quartet on Mozart’s KV 464, which Mozart in turn had dedicated to Haydn. This quartet is thus rooted in the Viennese tradition. The Borusan Quartet performs Eski Istanbul as encore – a popular Turkish song – arranged for string quartet in an almost nostalgic, high Romantic style.
Lex Bohlmeijer moderator
Take a cup of coffee and sit down together with Lex Bohlmeijer and his guests. The focus is on the string quartet – up close and personal. Personal anecdotes and insights into the string quartet open up a unique view of the complex world concealed behind the stage.
Lex Bohlmeijer hosts two programmes on Radio 4: “Passaggio” (weekdays at 7 p.m.) and the talk show “Diskotabel”. He also works in theatre as a dramaturgist and writer. He is active as a host of concerts, conferences and debates. Every Saturday, he publishes an interview with an inspiring special guest in De Correspondent online daily.
The theme and guests of each Coffee Talk will be announced in the run-up to the festival.
Juilliard String Quartet
Areta Zhulla violin
Ronald Copes violin
Roger Tapping viola
Astrid Schween cello
Henri Dutilleux Ainsi la nuit
Almost every morning during the String Quartet Biennale, various events will shed light on diverse aspects of the quartet. The Coffee Talk, which focuses on personal views on the quartet, will be followed by a masterclass, lecture or talk involving a more in-depth approach.
Dutilleux wrote Ainsi la nuit for the Juilliard String Quartet; however, the work was quickly embraced by many other quartets. It is a modern classic, for which the members of the Juilliard String Quartet – in the meantime a completely new combination of players – are the ideal guides.
Joris van Rijn violin
Emi Ohi Resnick violin
Gijs Kramers viola
Jeroen den Herder cello
Tim McLoraine video projection
Terry Riley Salome Dances for Peace
The string quartet has been in existence for two-and-a-half centuries so far. All these years the genre has been in contact with other cultures, languages, art forms and styles. Extending String Quartets falls somewhere between a concert, lecture-recital and crossover; it creates and rediscovers these connections. From American West Coast composers to encounters between East and West; from pop music to video art – all the boundaries are explored, expanded and blurred in the process.
Taking three times longer to perform than Beethoven’s longest quartet, Terry Riley’s magnum opus is monumental in the most literal sense. His music is rooted in a variety of styles that are totally atypical for the genre. Riley succeeds in coalescing the styles into a new sound idiom that incorporates jazz, Berber music, blues and traditional Indian music, among other elements. The two-hour voyage is made even more spectacular by the additional images created by the video artist Tim McLoraine.
Florian Donderer violin
Annette Walther violin
Xandi van Dijk viola
Thomas Schmitz cello
Franz Schubert String Quartet no. 8, D.112
Thomas Adès Arcadiana
Each day in Selected By a quartet will present two major works of its own choice in a one-hour performance without interval. The juxtaposition of the two pieces creates a strong contrast or tension, while in some cases their musical impact is reinforced by their relationship to each other.
Arcadiana by Thomas Adès is a modern classic. For this contemporary idyll Adès drew inspiration from Schubert, Mozart and French Baroque paintings.
The Signum Quartett deliberately opted for an early Schubert: ‘Schubert’s early quartets are played relatively infrequently, perhaps because his idiom is not yet so ‘perfect’ as in his late quartets. However, this quartet, written when Schubert was 17, contains all the desire, grief and sotto voce cheerfulness that typically lies at the heart of his later works.’
Almost every night, a young upcoming string quartet of the Conservatory of Amsterdam plays an exciting fifteen-minute pre-programme on the stage in the entrance hall. A perfect warm up for your ears, before going into the evening concert.
Marc Danel violin
Gilles Millet violin
Vlad Bogdanas viola
Yovan Markovitch cello
Peter Dijkstra conductor
Lera Auerbach Gothia (Dutch première)*
*Co-commission Muziekgebouw and String Quartet Biënnale Amsterdam
Lera Auerbach fled from Russia to the United States at a young age. She made her career as pianist and composer, writes poetry and is also a visual artist. In 2016 the Nederlands Kamerkoor gave the world première of 72 Angels, a monumental work for choir and saxophone quartet. The String Quartet Biennale now presents the Dutch première of Gothia – a sequel to 72 Angels, this time composed for choir and string quartet.
Lera Auerbach’s work is a colourful world full of extreme contrasts and sharp antitheses in which everything is based on fantasy and the power of imagination: ‘I dream and transform the dream into sounds. I translate the sounds into symbols that allow the dream to be relived.’
Marc Daniel van Biemen violin
Benjamin Peled violin
Jeroen Woudstra viola
Nitzan Laster cello
Benjamin Herman saxophone
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 12, op. 127
The Alma Quartet and jazz saxophonist Benjamin Herman would seem to be the odd ones out in the festival programme as a whole. Armed with a carte blanche for Benjamin, they join forces on a quest to unearth the jazz in Beethoven. What exactly will take place on stage remains a surprise – will it be the Alma Quartet + Benjamin Herman solo or will he bring along the entire New Cool Collective?
Artemis Quartett Vineta Sareika violin Suyoen Kim violin Gregor Sigl viola Harriet Krijgh cello Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky String Quartet no. 2 Bedřich Smetana String Quartet no. 1 ‘Aus meinem Leben’
Ragazze Quartet Rosa Arnold violin Jeanita Vriens violin Annemijn Bergkotte viola Rebecca Wise cello Claron McFadden vocals Elvis Costello The Juliet Letters Leoš Janáček String Quartet no. 2 ‘Intimate Letters‘