The ENESCO QUARTET was founded in 1979; wishing to honour the memory of the illustrious George ENESCO (1881-1955), they gave his name to the ensemble. Their meeting with such distinguished personalities as Sandor Vegh, Norbert Brainin and Sergiu Celibidache was of paramount importance: the ENESCO QUARTET has risen to international prominence ever since the beginning of their studies with these great musicians who shared with them a privileged relationship.
They have a very large repertoire containing a great number of quartets as well as numerous other works ranging from quintet to octet, representing 18th and 19th century scores belonging to classicism and romanticism, as well as 20th century music, which occupies an important place in their programmes.
They have created in first performance a large number of contemporary string quartets composed by: Philippe Hersant, Serge Nigg, Henri Sauguet, Jean-Jacques Werner, Pierre-Max Dubois, Nicolas Bacri, Nicolas Philippot, Jesus Guridi, Xavier Montsalvatge, José Peris Lacasa, Carmelo Bernaola, Josep Soler and José Garcia Roman. Among these composers, many have written especially for the ENESCO QUARTET.
The ENESCOs are regularly invited in such famous festivals as Besançon, Prades, La Chaise-Dieu, Montpellier, Paris, Sully, Cannes, Barcelona, Santander, Granada, Stavelot, Eschternach, Kuhmo, Guilford, Basel, Bucarest. On many occasions they have played with outstanding artistes like: Olivier Charlier, Luis Claret, Jean-Philippe Collard, Liat Cohen, Patrice Fontanarosa, Youri Egorov, Pascal Gallet, Ivry Gitlis, Michel Lethiec, Roberte Mamou, Paul Meyer, Aurèle Nicolet, Marielle Nordman, Régis Pasquier, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Michel Strauss, Gabriel Tacchino, Romeo Tudorache, Haruko Ueda, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, Narciso Yepes, etc.…
The ENESCO QUARTET has played in the most famous concert halls around the world: Salle Gaveau, Salle Pleyel and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris; Teatro Real and Auditorio Nacional in Madrid; Fondacion Gulbenkian in Lisbon; Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Wigmore Hall in London, The Library of Congress in Washington, among others.
The Quartet is constantly invited for master-classes to France, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Finland.
They have made a great number of records in France with Arion, Pierre Verany, Forlane, Rem, in Spain with Claves and Ensayo, in Switzerland Novalis, in Germany with CPO. They have recorded Schubert, Schumann, Dvorak, Boccherini, Cherubini, Debussy, Ravel, Franck, Chausson, Enesco, Vierne, Janacek, Bartok, Shostakovich, Guridi.
In 1986, in Spain, their recording of the two Quartets by Guridi was nominated Best Record of the year. In 1989, the record containing “Three quartets of French contemporary music” by Serge Nigg, Philippe Hersant and Nicolas Philippot was awarded Le Grand Prix de l’Académie Française du Disque. Le Diapason d’Or 1994 was awarded to the ENESCO QUARTET, for their recording of Franck and Chausson with Gabriel Tacchino at the piano.
They enjoy the rare honour of being regularly invited to play on the quartet of the Stradivarius instruments – unique in the world – belonging to the Royal Court of Spain.
Under the title Rewarding Music published in the Manchester Evening News, Robert Beale writes: “Their playing has a vigour (at times, fury) and sweetness (at times, insinuation) which are none too common, and though these qualities may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they certainly make a change”.
In an article published in the Figaro, the famous musical critic, Pierre Petit, called the members of the quartet « The messengers of poetry », as he was writing about their « warmth and virtuosity », to conclude : »the ENESCO QUARTET is definitely a great quartet ».
Updated biography 2008-2009
The ENESCO Quartet has participated to the Georges Enesco Festival in Bucharest, Ivry Gitlis Festival in France, Koblenz Festival in Germany, Xalapa Music Festival in Mexico, and for the last 17 years without interruption to their Concert Cycle in the Fondacion Areces in Madrid, Spain. The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland has selected their interpretation for the live CD of the festival. Tours and concerts are scheduled in Luxemburg, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy (Venice, Rome, Milan), participation in the Finland Days in Den Haag (Holland), and in Paris. Then the Enesco Quartet will tour in Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland and the Baltic Republics), followed by Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Israel and in september 2009 they are again invite de to the Georges Enesco Festival in Bucharest, Romania. A second CD in the cycle Masterpieces of the 20th century is scheduled for the end 2009.