Schoenberg Quartet

Schönberg Kwartet




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Schönberg Kwartet

The Schoenberg Quartet was founded in 1976 by students of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands: Janneke van der Meer and Wim de Jong – violin, Henk Guittart – viola and Hans Woudenberg – violoncello. Until 1989 the Schoenberg Quartet was embedded in the Schoenberg Ensemble, which had been founded by Henk Guittart in 1974. In 1989 the quartet parted ways, and cellist Hans Woudenberg was replaced by Viola de Hoog. In May 2009 the Schoenberg Quartet played its last concert, after 33 years of performing and recording, during which the Schoenberg Quartet performed around 100 concerts in the illustrious Chamber Music Hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, a unique achievement.

The musicians of the Schoenberg Quartet shared a common interest in the composers of the Second Viennese School – Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern and Alexander Zemlinsky.  The complete works for strings by these composers formed the heart of their repertoire.
Their programmes ranged from the music of Claude Debussy and Johannes Brahms to that of composers of the present day, highlighting the music of the first three decades of the twentieth century.

Between 1983 and 1991 the Quartet worked frequently in Boston (U.S.A.), where it studied with the violist and quartet coach Eugene (Jenö) Lehner, student of Jenö Hubay and formerly member of the renowned Kolisch Quartet, which in the 1920s and ‘30s worked closely with Schoenberg, Webern, Berg and Bartók.

Besides concerts and broadcasts in The Netherlands, the Quartet has given performances in most European countries as well as in Canada and the United States. Its performances for Dutch television of Schoenberg’s eight works for strings, in multi-screen registration, were broadcast worldwide. Also the Quartet appeared in the Rhombus film My War Years about the life of Arnold Schoenberg.

The Friends of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute in Los Angeles awarded the Schoenberg Quartet Honorary Life Membership in 1989, an honour previously accorded to artists such as Pierre Boulez, Felix Galimir and Eugene Lehner.

The Schoenberg Quartet has issued a total of 38 records/CDs with works by Louis Andriessen, Béla Bartók, Alban Berg, Johannes Brahms, Willem Breuker, Ernest Chausson, Claude Debussy, Henri Dutilleux, Rudolf Escher, Leos Janáček, Otto Ketting, Wim Laman, Willem Pijper, Robin de Raaff, Maurice Ravel, Max Reger, Albert Roussel, Arnold Schönberg, Erwin Schulhoff, Dmitri Sjostakovitsj, Karol Szymanowski, Jan van Vlijmen, Matthijs Vermeulen, Bart Visman, Anton Webern, Alexander Zemlinsky and Bob Zimmerman. For their CD with the complete works for strings by Erwin Schulhoff the Schoenberg Quartet received the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
For Chandos the Schoenberg Quartet recorded nine cd’s with the complete works for strings by Schoenberg, Webern, Berg and Zemlinsky, a unique event in recording history. These recordings have received the highest praise in the international press. 
In 2002 the Schoenberg Quartet was nominated for a Grammy Award, for their complete Schoenberg recording. 
In 2007 a CD was released by Chandos, containing the string quartets of Janáček and Szymanowski. At the occasion of their closing season in 2009 Etcetera Records released two CD boxes, of nine Cd’s in total, called The Retrospective Edition and The Dutch Legacy, with partly new and partly previously released (but no longer available) recordings.