Leipzig String Quartet


Founded in 1988, the Leipzig String Quartet is now widely acclaimed as one of the most exciting string quartets on the international chamber music scene: The "Neue Züricher Zeitung" has described the ensemble as "one of the towering and most versatile quartets of our time" and "The New York Times" wrote "if there is a Leipzig sound, this is it!" Three of its members were first chairs in the famous Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig. After studies with Gerhard Bosse, the Amadeus quartet, Hatto Beyerle and Walter Levin, the quartet went on to win numerous prizes and awards, such as the 1991 International ARD Munich competition, and the Busch and Siemens prizes.

Today, the Leipzig String Quartet concertizes extensively throughout Europe, in Israel, Africa, Central and South America, Australia, Japan and Asia, including appearances at many of the major festivals. In North America, engagements include appearances at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, in Carnegie Hall's Quartet Series in Weill Recital Hall, the 92nd St. Y, The Frick Collection, Wolf Trap, the Library of Congress, and chamber music series in Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montréal and Quebec, earning them praise for their concerts: "superbly integrated" (Washington Post); "everything, but everything, was perfect" (Le Devoir, Montréal). Often offering its own thematic cycles (Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, the contemporaries), the quartet was also one of the initiators of the 1996 and 1997 Beethoven Quartet Cycle offered jointly with five other quartets as a sign of European friendship in more than 15 European cities.

Since 1991, the ensemble has has its own concert series "Pro Quatuor" at the Gewandhaus where it offered, among others, a multi-year cycle of the major quartets of the First and Second Viennese School. Within that series the quartet played the world-premieres of Schnittke's "With Three" for string trio and orchestra and works by Beat Furrer, Christian Ofenbauer, Wolfgang Rihm, Steffen Schleiermacher, Jörg Widmann, Cristóbal Halffter and others. As a member of the Leipzig-based "Ensemble Avantgarde", the quartet is dedicated to contemporary music and works by the classical moderns. With this ensemble, the quartet formed in 1990 the "musica nova" series at the Gewandhaus, and was awarded the 1993 Schneider-Schott prize of the City of Mainz.

Chamber music partners Juliane Banse, Christiane Oelze, Alfred Brendel, Hartmut Rohde, Michael Sanderling, Andreas Staier, Christian Zacharias and others enrich and expand the quartet's already large repertoire.

The quartet's almost 70 recordings, spanning from Mozart to Cage and including the complete works of Brahms, Mozart, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Schubert and the complete Second Viennese School have been met with international critical acclaim. They have brought the group such recognition as the "Diapason d'Or" and "Premios-CD-Compact" awards, two nominations for the "Cannes Classical Award" and the 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2008 "ECHO-Klassik" awards. Their recording of the complete Schubert quartet literature, are considered by many the most important release for the Schubert year 1997. Of 18 recordings of the "Trout quintet", the French magazine "Répertoire" voted their recording with Christian Zacharias, piano, as the best recording of this work. Repeatedly, the quartet won the Quarterly Prize of the German Record Reviewers, the last for their recording of Hindemith's "Minimax" and the Quartets of Kurt Weill. Since 1992, the Quartet records exclusively for Dabringhaus&Grimm Music Productions (MDG).

Since 2009, the Leipzig String Quartet is invitated by Maestro Claudio Abbado to be member of the renowned Lucerne Festival Orchestra.


The Leipzig Quartet has an extensive repertoire consisting more than 300 works by more than 100 composers. Their repertoire does not only comprise of works from the string quartet literature but also music for string quartet and other instruments and voices.

Delicate Strings
Sat, 2011-07-09
The Leipzig String Quartet fired up under Frederiksværk Musikfestival with three astonishlingly well sounding interpretations of some of the most important, melancholy works in the history of classical music. The nearly 25 years of experience as quartet in combination with catching and energetic musicianship gave a performance of three classical milestones which the 500 in the sold out hall will never forget. Mendelssohn's last quartet was given with the melancholic and surgeon sharp angular view of the romantic world's constant striving towards the distant and the innermost at the same time. A kind of decline dozed with small strong drings of elegang liquid lunacy. Shostakovich's 8th is known as 20 minutes' sound side of the man's dismal reality, and it was only in lightening short moments where Leipzig let the light in. The remainder was melancholy dark lines in slow motion, aggressive manifestations, too fast folk melodies and noisy bowings. The music did probably come in through one's ears, but it felt like stabs in the stomach. The four musicians' mutual understanding lay the ground for a truly impressive sound picture where none of the usual dangers of the genre were heard. Leipzig would have flopped if they had used the same tactic for Schubert's dreaming web. As a matter of course they stowed the attacks and introduced the composer's ambiguous sounds to the dry brick room gently and restrained. Schubert's four movements is not something one quite grasps in the perfect play between major, and minor, pulse and lull.The menuet reminded of a walz but with a strange resignating feeling, as the last round on the dance floor when the party is over and the guests have gone. They played as an encore the little Bach Psalm 'The Day is Over" in the same quiet and sad mood. Henrik Friis

The Leipzig String Quartet has recorded nearly 70 cd's. Read more about them on the Leipzig String Quartet's own homepage: http://www.leipzigquartet.com/site-en-disco.shtml

Allan Pettersson: Concerto for Violin and String Quartet
Press Service


  • Tilman Büning (Violin)
  • Matthias Moosdorf (Cello)
  • Ivo Bauer (Viola)
  • Conrad Muck (Violin)