Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Russian Quartet

The New Russian Quartet is the resident string quartet of the Moscow Conservatory.  Established in January, 2008, it is already one of the world's best string quartets. Its members are also all graduates of the Conservatory.  It is more or less the equivalent of the Juilliard Quartet in the U.S.  Julia Igonina is the quartet's first violinist, Elena Kharitonova plays second violin, Alexander Galkovsky is the violist, and Alexey Steblev is the cellist.  Except for Julia Igonina, who is actually a brilliant concert violinist, they are all seasoned chamber music players.  As their website indicates, the name of the ensemble implies that the musicians  remain faithful to the Russian performing tradition as they also explore uncharted areas in chamber music.   Their core repertoire consists of the standard literature by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Bartok and all the rest but they also perform contemporary works composed specifically for them.  They have collaborated with such outstanding artists as Jessie Norman, Vladimir Spivakov, Alexander Rudin, Yuri Bashmet, and Shlomo Mintz (playing viola.)  The New Russian Quartet frequently performs in Russia’s best concert venues and participates in music festivals throughout Europe and Asia.  As far as I know, they have not yet toured the U.S.  The members of the quartet perform on Italian instruments from the Russian State's collection.  They also have many superlative videos on YouTube. 

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