Irvine Arditti, violin
Ashot Sarkissjan, violin
Ralf Ehlers, viola
Lucas Fels, violoncello
The Arditti Quartet, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, enjoys a global reputation for their spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary and earlier 20th century music. Several hundred string quartets and other chamber works have been written for the ensemble since its foundation by first violinist Irvine Arditti in 1974. These works have left a permanent mark on 20th century repertoire and have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music history. Such composers as Adès, Aperghis, Birtwistle, Cage, Carter, Dufourt, Dusapin, Fedele, Ferneyhough, Francesconi, Gubaidulina, Harvey, Hosokawa, Kagel, Kurtág, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Nancarrow, Rihm, Scelsi, Sciarrino and Stockhausen have entrusted the world premieres of their music to the them, and the quartet’s repertoire comprises all string quartets of many of the above and other composers.
The ensemble believes that close collaboration with composers is vital to the process of interpreting modern music and therefore attempts to collaborate with every composer whose works it plays. Teaching for many years at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, the players have given numerous master classes and workshops for young performers and composers all over the world.
Over the past 40 years, the ensemble has received many prizes for its work. They have won the Deutscher Schallplatten Preis several times and the Gramophone Award for the best recording of contemporary music in 1999 (Elliott Carter) and 2002 (Harrison Birtwistle). The Arditti Quartet’s extensive discography now features well over 180 CDs. The prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded to them in 1999 for lifetime achievement in music.
Upcoming festival appearances in 2013/2014 include invitations to perform at the Ruhrtriennale, Festival d’Automne, Wien Modern (with new works by John Zorn and Luke Bedford) and Rainy days in Luxembourg (with the world premiere of a piece by Klaus Lang). They will perform Stockhausen’s Helicopter Quartet at the Venice Biennale and the French premiere of Manoury’s Melencolia-Figuren for string quartet and orchestra with the RSO Stuttgart under Peter Rundel at the Musica Festival in Strasbourg. They will perform in Wigmore Hall, Auditorium Nacional Madrid, Cité de la musique and at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. Two tours are also planned: in the USA (March) and Japan (August). The Arditti Quartet will celebrate its 40th anniversary in April 2014.