Since its success at the ARD International Competition in 2012, where the Armida Quartet took First Prize, the Audience Prize, and six other special awards, the career of the young Berlin string quartet has developed at a sensational pace. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2016, the Quartet gave its BBC Proms debut that same year and was selected as BBC New Generation Artists in 2014. In 2017 they completed a season as ECHO “Rising Stars” as their sixth disc was released, and 2018 will see them make their USA debut.
Founded in Berlin, the Armida Quartet took its name from a Haydn opera, the “father of the string quartet.” They have studied with members of the Artemis Quartet and Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), also drawing musical inspiration from Alfred Brendel, Reinhard Goebel, Eberhard Feltz, Walter Levin, Natalia Prischepenko, and Tabea Zimmermann.
The 2017-18 season will see the quartet perform at the Malmo International Chamber Music Festival, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, and Rheingau Musik Festivals. They will return to London’s Wigmore Hall, Bonn, Basel, and Zurich. Their USA debut tour will include performances in Boston and in New York with their “Mozart Exploded” program. They will perform with Martin Fröst in Barcelona, with Kit Armstrong in Freiburg, with Jörg Widmann in Leipzig and Gent, and joining the Modigliani Quartet they perform in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Hannover, and Hamburg.
As ECHO “Rising Stars”, nominated by Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie the Quartet performed in no less than 22 of Europe’s major concert halls including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Baden-Baden, Barcelona, Birmingham, Budapest, Brussels, Philharmonie Cologne, Dortmund, Hamburg, Lisbon, London, Luxemburg, Cité de la Musique Paris, Stockholm and Vienna’s Konzerthaus. On their program they premiered a new quartet by Marko Nikodijevic.
The ensemble’s debut CD for CAvi in 2013, featuring works by Béla Bartók, György Ligeti, and György Kurtág, was selected by the German Record Critics’ Award for its critics’ choice list. Their latest discs, quartets of Beethoven and Shostakovich, and “Fuga Magna,” were released in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Working with chamber partners is an inspiration for the Armida Quartet – they have additionally worked with Raphael Alpermann, Thomas Hampson, Ewa Kupiec, Maximilian Hornung, Daniel Müller-Schott and Tabea Zimmermann. Fellow BBC NGA collaborations have included Pavel Kolesnikov, Lise Berthaud, Alec Frank-Gemill, and Quatour Van Kuijk.
First prize winners of the Geneva Competition in 2011 they have also received scholarships from the Irene Steels-Wilsing Foundation and the Schierse Foundation in Berlin.
The Armida Quartet is Martin Funda (violin), Johanna Staemmler (violin), Teresa Schwamm (viola), and Peter-Philipp Staemmler (cello).
(418 words. July 2017, Ariel Artists. Please discard previously dated materials and contact Reynard Hulme, firstname.lastname@example.org, before making any alterations or cuts.)
Mozart, String Quartet No. 22 in B flat major, K. 589 (“Prussian 2″)
II – Larghetto
IV – Allegro assai
Ravel, String Quartet
III – Très lent
Janáček, String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters”
III – Satz
Schubert, String Quartet No. 15 in G major, D. 887
II – Andante un poso mosso
III - Scherzo (Allegro vivace) – Trio (Allegretto)
Bartók, String Quartet No. 4, Sz 91
II - Prestissimo, Con Sordino
György Kurtág, String Quartet, Op. 1
II – Con Moto
V - Molto Ostinato
György Ligeti, String Quartet No. 1 Métamorphoses Nocturnes
I – Allegro Grazioso
II – Vivace – Capricisoso
IV – Presto
V – Prestissimo
VII – Tempo Di Valse – Moderato – Con Eleganza – Un Poco Capricioso
IX – Allegretto – Un Poco Gioviale
2017/18 Program Offerings
- 18/19 PREVIEW
With works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bartók, Prokofiev, Kurtág
- The Art of Fugue
Bach, Mozart, Beethoven
- Modern Diary
Kurtág, Bartók, Marko Nikodijevic, Alban Berg
- The Hunt
Mozart, Brahms, Jörg Widmann
- Slavic Spirit
Smetana, Prokofiev, Beethoven
Current & Recent Programs
- Concerto Offerings
The Armida Quartet is pleased to offer the following concerti:
Louis Spohr (1784-1859)
Konzert für Streichquartett und Orchester a-moll, Op. 131 (1845)
Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Introduktion und Allegro Op. 47 für Streichquartett und Streicher (1905)
Eugene Ysaÿe (1858-1931)
Harmonie du soir Op. 31 für Streichquartett und Streichorchester (1924)
Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951)
Konzert für Streichquartett und Orchester B-Dur (nach einem Concerto grosso von Händel) (1933)
Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
Konzert für Streichquartett mit Orchester H 207 (1931)
Sándor Veress (1907-1992)
Konzert für Streichquartett und Orchester (1961)
Wolfgang Rihm (b. 1952)
“Concerto” Dithyrambe für Streichquartett und Orchester (2000)
Daniel Schnyder (b. 1961)
IMPETUS – Konzert für Streichquartett und Orchester (2014)
Søren Nils Eichberg (b. 1973)
“Endorphin” Concerto grosso für Streichquartett und Orchester (2011)
Projects & Collaborations
- Pre-Concert Talks and Lecture Concerts
The Armida Quartet gives an insight into our four lives and into the life of our group. We talk about our program, and about ourselves and our musical practice. What does it mean to spend most of one's time around the same three people? How do we choos...
We are offer workshops for all ages. We can work together as a big group or split into smaller groups with one member of the Armida Quartet acting as a coach. Together, we can discover the wonderful string quartet repertoire, or we can train your grou...
- Visiting Schools
We love to visit schools and convey to the students a very personalized impression of what it means to be a professional string quartet. The students are invited to participate, to ask questions, to create a cooperative project - there are no limits ...
- Pop-up Concerts
Have you ever heard a string quartet playing in a grocery store? We love to play at unusual venues. Each unique location provides a very special atmosphere and helps us to get in touch with the audience. Who says a string quartet can't fill up a dance ...