Quartet Week

The String Quartet as a Laboratory for Innovation

© Jay Blakesberg

The sound of two violins, a viola, and a cello

is an amazing sound. It expresses something about our life that no other sound I have ever heard can express.

David Harrington

This observation by David Harrington, founder and first violinist of the Kronos Quartet, might incapsulate the reason why over its 300-year history the string quartet has lost none of its fascination and still acts as a powerful catalyst of musical innovation, paving a path into the future. 

Seven leading ensembles, representing all generations of the international string quartet scene, come together for the Pierre Boulez Saal’s Quartet Week. They all are devoted to that same spirit of looking ahead—which does not exclude an occasional detour, side road, and glance back toward the past. Approaching its 50th anniversary, the U.S.-based Kronos Quartet will be at the center of activity. The ensemble’s influence on the development of the string quartet genre and on the music of our time in general can hardly be overstated, and its peerless artistry will be on display in two full-length concerts and other programs. To conclude the week, the Pierre Boulez Saal and the Barenboim-Said Akademie, together with the Kronos Quartet, welcome all audiences and music lovers to an Open House.

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