Principal Underwriter: Maurice Amado Foundation
|Bartok||Quartet No. 3, Op. 85|
|Shostakovich||Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110|
|Tchaikovsky||Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11|
András Keller (Violin)
Zsófia Környei (Violin)
Zoltán Gál (Viola)
Judit Szabó (Violoncello)
Founded in 1987 at the Liszt Conservatory of Music in Budapest, the Keller Quartet had already achieved their international breakthrough in 1990 when they won all the prizes and special awards at the Evian and Borciani Competitions.
Even though the quartet members completed their degrees as soloists, string quartet playing has always been their first choice. Three of the Liszt Conservatory’s most renowned professors took care of 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 can be characterized 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 for this :on the one hand their famous Bach/Kurtág program where parts of Bach’s "Art of the Fugue” are intertwined with works by György Kurtág or on the other hand the 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 the search 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” in relation to Joseph Haydn’s "Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross”. During performance both pieces are interwoven, the Widmann quartet intersecting the Haydn twice between movements. The Keller Quartet premiered this programme at the "Sommerliche Musiktage“ chamber music festival in Hitzacker in July 2003 and performed it in various cities in Germany and Europe since then.
The Keller Quartet very often devises the programme of 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 when it was released. The Keller Quartet has enjoyed its lengthy connection to ECM and has recorded the “Art of the Fugue” by Bach as well as the complete works for string quartet by Kurtág. The year 2003 year saw the release of a CD with Schnittke’s Piano Quintet (with Alexej Lubimov) and the last string quartet of Shostakovich. A recording of all Bartók Duos for violins by the two violin players of the quartet has also appeared on ECM. In 2004 a DVD with the Bach/Kurtág-programme was released by EuroArts. In 2008 NAXOS released the DVD "Oboe Dreams" where the Keller Quartet performs with legendary oboist Heinz Holliger.