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Международен музикален фестивал Варненско лято

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Artis Quartet of Vienna

After trying out for the first time in 2003 the AQ is now one of the few quartets which present the players with the exeption of the cellist standing up.

Founded in 1980, the Artis Quartet studied at the University of Music in Vienna and was coached
by Hatto Beyerle and Alfred Staar. They won prizes at competitions in Cambridge, England (1983) , Evian, France (1984) and Yellow Springs, USA (1985) and studied with the LaSalle Quartet at the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, USA 1984/85.

In 1985 the ensemble began its international career performing at the most important venues and centres of music, including Carnegie Hall New York, Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington, Suntory Hall and International Forum Tokyo, Philharmonie and Konzerthaus Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Salle Pleyel and Théatre des Champs-Elysées Paris, Santa Caecilia Rome and Teatro Colon Buenos Aires.

In Vienna, where the members of the Artis-Quartet live, their cycle of concerts at the Wiener Musikverein has been an annual event since 1988. They have given first performances of many works by contemporary composers, such as Gottfried v. Einem, Helmut Eder, Erich Urbanner, Thomas Pernes, Richard Dünser, Gerhard E. Winkler, Thomas Larcher,  Gerhard Schedl, Haimo Wisser, Wolfgang Kubizek, Harry Pepl, Tania Gabrielle French, Ivan Eröd and Antonio Pino Vargas.

Notable moments in the history of the Quartet include the invitation to play all twenty-three Mozart quartets in a series of concerts in both Tokyo (Suntory Hall) and Vienna during the Mozart Year 1991. Enthusiastic press reviews included: ''......this was at last the concert that made you glad 1991 is Mozart year. Other artists try to imitate Mozart; these four are the realthing...''(Jason James/Asahi Evening News/Tokyo ) ''....performances proved the Artis to be top class in the international chamber music league..'' (Alexander Arbeiter/Kurier /Vienna).

This success was repeated with cycles of the complete Schubert quartets in 1997 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, De Doelen in Rotterdam and the Musikverein in Vienna.

The Artis Quartet has been invited by prestigious international festivals such as Salzburger Festspiele, Wiener Festwochen, Schleswig Holstein Festival, Berliner Festwochen, Beethoven Festival Warszaw , Ravinia, Ludwigsburg, Lockenhaus, Turku, Naantali, Gstaad, Prades, Granada, Dubrovnik, Bournemouth, Hong Kong, Paris, Kuhmo, Colmar, Schubertiade, Wien Modern and Salzburger Mozartwoche.

They enjoyed their collaboration with artists like Mischa Maisky, Christoph Eschenbach, Phillipe Entremont, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Till Fellner,Thomas Zehetmair, Stefan Vladar, Sharon Kam, Michel Lethiec, Nabuko Imai, Lawrence Power, Juliane Banse, Ildiko Raimondi, Jeremy Menuhin, Richard Stoltzman, members of the Alban Berg Quartet and Ensemble Wien-Berlin.

The AQ has recorded 35 CDs for Nimbus Records, Sony Classical, CBS/Sony, Orfeo, Accord, Koch/Schwann and Camerata Tokyo and has won such international awards as the ECHO Klassik, Indie Award, Grand Prix International du Disque/Academie Charles Cros, the Prix Caecilia, the Diapason d´Or and the Wiener Flötenuhr. Their recordings of Berg, Weigl, Wellesz, Zemlinsky and Webern have been praised internationally all over and Thomas Schulz from the German „Rondo“ Magazine wrote about:- „in the Austrian late romantic and modern repertoire the Artis Quartet is unbeatable at the moment“.

The Artis Quartet received the Lully Award 2001 by concertonet.com for the seasons best chamber music performance in New York City. Productions with the quartet for documentaries, films and concerts were made by UNTEL, BR Alpha, 3 SAT, Asahi TV and ORF.

Their CD with quartets by Egon Wellesz was awarded the MIDEM CLASSICAL AWARD 2009 in Cannes.

2011-2016 the Artis Quartet was in residence at the Yale Summer School of Music/Norfolk Festival (USA).

In 2014 the AQ started a close cooperation with Nimbus Records (GB) and the first CD including works by Kreisler, Zemlinsky and Schulhoff has now being released 2016 they performed in China for the first time and played at venues like the NCPA in Beijing and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai.

The members of the Artis Quartet teach at the Universities of Vienna and Graz and give masterclasses around the world.

Peter Schuhmayer plays a violin by Philipp Keller(1907). Johannes Meissls A.Guarneri (1690) violin, Herbert Kefers J.B.Guadagnini (1784) viola and Othmar Müllers A.Amati, 1573) cello are on loan from the Austrian National Bank's collection of musical instruments.

Activities of the AQ 2015-2016 include performances in the USA, China, Belgium , the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Spain, France, Germany, Serbia and Slovenia.

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