Quatour Ébène


Attending a concert by the Quatuor Ébène is a musical and sensual happening. In the past two decades the quartet has set standards by making familiar repertoire accessible in new ways beyond perfection, and by constantly seeking the exchange with the audience. This spring, Yuya Okamoto joined the quartet’s esteemed ranks, adding a new dimension.

After studies with the Quatuor Ysaÿe in Paris as well as with Gábor Takács, Eberhard Feltz and György Kurtág, the unprecedented and outstanding success at the 2004 ARD Music Competition followed, marking the beginning of the Quatuor Ébène’s rise to fame, which resulted in numerous other prizes and awards: In 2005, for example, the quartet was awarded the Belmont Prize of the Forberg-Schneider Foundation; in 2007 it was prize winner of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, and in 2019 – as the first ensemble ever – it was honored with the Frankfurt Music Prize. 

In addition to the traditional repertoire, the quartet also dives into other styles (“A String Quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band” New York Times, 2009). What began in 1999 as a distraction in the university’s practice rooms – improvising on jazz standards & pop songs – has become a trademark of Quatuor Ébène. 

To date, the quartet has released 3 albums in these genres, Fiction (2010), Brazil (2014) and Eternal Stories (2017). Ine June 2024, the ensemble will present “Waves”, a new project with the electronic sound artist Xavier Tribolet. The free approach to various styles creates a tension that is beneficial to every aspect of their artistic work. The complexity of their oeuvre has been greeted enthusiastically by audiences and critics. 

Quatuor Ébène’s albums, with recordings of Bartók, Beethoven, Debussy, Haydn, Fauré and the Mendelssohn siblings, have received numerous awards, including Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, and the Midem Classic Award. In 2015 & 2016 the musicians dedicated themselves to the theme “Lied”. They participated in the album “Green (Mélodies françaises)” by Philippe Jaroussky and released a Schubert album with Matthias Goerne (arrangements for String Quartet, baritone, and double bass, by Raphaël Merlin) and the Schubert String Quintet with Gautier Capuçon. Together with Antoine Tamestit, Quatuor Ébène recorded the Mozart String Quintets K. 515 and K. 516, which were released in the spring of 2023. The album has received accolades such as Choc Classica, Diapason d’Or, Gramophone of the month.


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