We would like to acquaint you with ourselves, the music we play, and the concerts and projects we are planning and performing even as you read this. In return, we would love to hear your ideas: about our repertory, about how we play it, about how we might further serve our community.
We are Elizabeth Blumenstock, Katherine Kyme, Anthony Martin, and Elisabeth Le Guin, and together we are a string quartet, based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1985. We take our name from the printing house in Vienna that first published many of Haydn's, Mozart's, and Beethoven's quartets.
As a quartet we are unusual in several respects; all of them, like our name, honor that first great eighteenth-century heyday of the quartet genre. We perform on period instruments: that is, our equipment is set up in emulation of old custom. This includes using pure gut top strings; instruments voiced in favor of blend, warmth and intimacy of tone rather than tremendous projection; and light, maneuverable bows.
We seek to explore the egalitarian and revolutionary spirit of chamber music by rotating parts among players: we have no single first or second violinist, no one violist. (Our cellist, however, remains the same.) A typical Artaria Quartet concert will feature several permutations of personnel, and each permutation has a dramatically distinct personality.
And if you think a period-instrument group limits its repertory -- well, think again. Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven are only the tips of the enormous and elegant iceberg that is early quartet music. The Artaria Quartet's concert repertory spans four centuries, from the music of Lassus to that of Schoenberg, and countries from Sweden to Mexico. We make our home in the eighteenth century among the multitudes of fine, interesting, bizarre, and brilliant composers, whose names Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven would have recognized but who have been sadly neglected since.
In the twelve years we've been working together, we've made four recordings for Harmonia Mundi, with plans for many more in the works. We've earned our share of praise from critics, and we've been given several awards of which we're particularly proud. We hope you'll take the time to get acquainted with our accomplishments, and, in order to keep you better up to date on our upcoming projects, we invite you to join our e-mail list.
Thanks for stopping by!