Opening ConcertMinguet Quartett © Frank Rossbach
Ulrich Isfort – 1. violin Annette Reisinger – 2. violin Aroa Sorin – viola Matthias Diener – cello
Pablo Minguet was born in 18th-century Madrid, in Spain. In his philosophical writings, he was at pains to bring the Fine Arts to a broader public. Since its foundation in 1988 (and its present formation since 1996), the MINGUET QUARTET has aspired to follow his example. As well as studying chamber-music at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, the four young musicians were given additional musical guidance by Walter Levin (La Salle Quartet), and members of the Amadeus, Melos and Alban Berg Quartets. With the help of scholarships and awards, such as those from the Land North-Rhein-Westphalia, and the Berlin Mendelssohn Prize, the Quartet quickly gained recognition and began to perform widely at home and abroad. In 1997 the Minguets held a guest-lectureship at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule, Düsseldorf. The Cologne-based Minguet Quartet performs all over the world: from Europe and Scandinavia, to Asia, and the USA. The Minguet Quartet has made recordings of the complete works for string quartet by Othmar Schoeck, Wolfgang Rihm, and first-ever recordings of the works of Robert Fuchs, a contemporary of Brahms (2000 - 2002). The Minguet Quartet plays on a set of instruments, kindly given on permanent loan by the Stiftung Kunst und Kultur, Nord-Rhein-Westfalen.
JÖRG WIDMANN (1973, Munich, Germany) studied clarinet at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. As a performer he won first prizes at the Carl Maria von Weber Wettbewerb in Munich and at the Wettbewerb deutscher Musikhochschulen in Berlin. Since 1996 he received several prizes (Kulturförderpreis der Landeshauptstadt München, Bayerischer Staatspreis für junge Künstler, Louis Spohr Medaille der Stadt Seesen). In summer 2001 Jörg Widmann was appointed professor of clarinet at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg. At the "musica viva" in 1999 he gave the world premiere of Musik für Klarinette und Orchester „Über die Linie II" by Wolfgang Rihm, which was written especially for him. He is one of the founders of the Ensemble TrioLog, which aims to promote the music of the 20th and 21st century. Since 1993 he has held master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London, conservatory in Odessa and the Academy of Music in Lisbon. At the age of eleven, Widmann received his first lessons in composition with Kay Westermann and continued with Hans Werner Henze, Wilfried Hiller and Wolfgang Rihm. Since 1999 he received several prizes (the Belmont Preis für zeitgenössische Musik of the Forberg Schneider Stiftung for his achievements in composition, the Schneider Schott Musikpreis, the Paul Hindemith Preis, Ernst von Siemens Stifung and the honorary award of the Munich Opern-Festspiele).
Works (selection): 5 string quartets (1997, 2003, 2003, 2004/05, 5th "Versuch über die Fuge“ for soprano and string quartet, 2005), Streichquartettsatz aus "Absences" (1990), Fantasie for solo clarinet (1993), 180 beats per minute for string sextet (1993), Badinerie for solo flute (1994), 3 Etudes für Violine Solo (1995, 2001, 2002), Three Rilke Fragments for soprano, clarinet in Bb (also soprano sax), bass clarinet, viola, cello and double bass (1996), Arlechino Rabbioso for self-playing fairground organ (1997), Duell for trombone and electric guitar (1998), Nachtstück for clarinet, cello and piano (1998), Skizze, Splitter, Mosaik for flute, harp and string trio (1998), Lichtstudie IV for violin and piano (2003), Lichtstudie V for accordion and clarinet (2003), Hallstudie for piano (2003), Oktett for clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, cello and double bass (2004), Sphinxensprüche und Rätselkanons for soprano, clarinet and piano (2005).String Quartet No. 4 (2005)
VIERA JANÁRČEKOVÁ (1951, Svit, Slovakia) studied in Bratislava and Prague. She lived in Canada since seventies, then she moved to Germany. As a freelance composer she developed new instrumental techniques and notations in nineties. She was awarded International Woman Composer Competition Prize in Mannheim (1994), 1st. Prize at Chamber Music Competition in Bratislava (1996), Wolfgang Zippel Prize (1997). In 2000 she premiered four brand new pieces as a composer in residence at International Lockenhaus Festival (invitation of Gidon Kremer). Her compositions were recorded for a Intersound PRO VIVA publisher house.
Works (selection): 6 string quartets (1984, "Vom Kahlschlag zur Lichtung“, 1984 – 1985, 1986, 1989,1992, 2000), F+F for piano (1982), 6 haiku for violin and piano (1982), Avalokiteshvara, four songs for baritone and piano on the texts of Ulrich Holbein (1983), Insomnia sextet for clarinet, oboe, basoon, two horns and piano (1983), Abgestaubte Saiten for piano (1986), 7 chinese songs for soprano/tenor and piano (1986), Heftige Landschaft mit dreizehn Bäumen for string orchestra (1987), Lieder auf der Flucht for mezzosoprano and chamber ensemble on the text of Ingeborg Bachmann (1987), Zwischen ON und OFF for voice, flute, oboe, clarinet and piano (1989), Der geheimnisvolle Nachen for mezzosoprano and cello on the text of Friedrich Nietzsche (1989), Issa Haiku for mezzosoprano and cello (1989), Donna Laura, dramatic work for mezzosoprano and 15 instruments on the text of Christine Brückner (1989), Actionen R for piano, recitation and pantomime (1989), Hymnos an Vater Lärm for mezzosoprano and percussion on the text of Ulrich Holbein (1990), Antiophoenix for 8 cellos (1990), Sechs Siebenschläferinnen for choir (1990), Beschattungstheater for 4 cellos (1990), Piano Concerto (1991), Ashrukantha for strings, harp and piano (1991), Scatto automatico for strings, percussion and harp (1992), Gianozzo (1993), Irre Parabel for orchestra (1993), Ozeanische Sekunde for orchestra (1994), Pulsator, trio for flute, cello and piano (1996), Quintessenzen for bass flute and string orchestra (1998), durchpulst for flute (2001), Splitternackt for piano and tape (2003).Floating Coexistence (2015)
Konstantia Gourzi is a rarity amongst classical musicians often being both the composer and the conductor of a concert. In August 2016 she conducted the premiere of her piece Ny-él, Two Angels in the White Garden at the Lucerne Festival, a festival commission and her debut with the Lucerne Festival Academy. Only a month before that, the Festspiele Lucerne Mecklenburg-Vorpommern dedicated a whole evening to the Athens-born artist showcasing the complexity of her work. Konstantia receives regular commissions from musicians and is often involved in performances. She enjoys a close working relationship with musicians including Nils Mönkemeyer, Francois Leleux, William Youn, Claudio Bohórguez, the Heath, Minguet and Signum Quartets as well as with the visual artists Alexander Polzin and Jannis Kounellis. Her artistic aim is to create connections between traditional and contemporary sounds in her compositions and as a creator by putting new emphasis on programming conceptually. She has composed opera, film music, works for theatre and orchestra as well as numerous solo pieces and chamber music. Her music has been commissioned by Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Ensemble Musica Nova Israel, State Orchestra Athens, the festival Kasseler Tagen für Neue Musik, Staatsoper München and Patrimonio Nacional Spain. On more than one occasion the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung contributed generously to these commissions. Numerous radio broadcasts, TV programmes and live streams document her concerts. At the end of 2014 ECM released her debut album Music for String Quartet and Piano that received the highest critical acclaim. She also has released recordings with NEOS, NAXOS and SONY Classical.Anájikon, the Angel in the Blue Garden op. 61 (2015)
Peter Ruzicka was born in Duesseldorf on July 3, 1948. He received his early musical training (piano, oboe and composition) at the Hamburg Conservatory. Studies in composition with Hans Werner Henze and Hans Otte. He studied law and musicology in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin (doctoral thesis: Berlin, 1977). The list of his compositions includes numerous orchestral and chamber works as well as the opera „Celan", which was premiered in Dresden in 2001. His opera "Hoelderlin" was premiered at the Berlin State Opera in 2008.
Peter Ruzicka was appointed professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg in 1990. The composer is a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and of the Free Academy of Arts in Hamburg.
Peter Ruzicka's works were performed by leading international orchestras and ensembles like the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio Munich, German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Philharmonic Orchestra de Paris, Czech Philharmony, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Montréal and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductors like Gerd Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Gielen, Paavo Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Antonio Pappano, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Christian Thielemann have performed his works.
Peter Ruzicka was artistic director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1979 to 1987 and director of the Hamburg State Opera and the State Philharmonic Orchestra from 1988 to 1997. Moreover, he was Artistic Advisor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam from 1997 to 1999. In 1999 he was named President of the Bavarian Theatre Academy. From 2001 to 2006, Ruzicka took over the Artistic Directorship of the Salzburg Festival. Until 2014 he was artistic director of the Munich Biennale having succeeded Hans Werner Henze in 1996. From 2015 he will serve as intendant of the Salzburg Easter Festival. As a conductor of his own and other works, Peter Ruzicka has directed the German Symphony Orchestra in Berlin - recording CDs of music by Mahler, Pettersson and Schreker - the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg - recording a cycle of 12 orchestral works by Hans Werner Henze -, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt, the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the German Opera Berlin, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the China Philharmonic Orchestra among others.String Quartet No. 7 „…possible-à-chaque-instant“ (2016)