Performance Friday, October 12, 2012 | 7:30 PM

Philharmonia Quartett Berlin

Weill Recital Hall
In 1984, four principal string players of the Berliner Philharmoniker came together to form a new quartet. Since then, the Philharmonia Quartett Berlin has been burnishing a reputation as one of the best quartets in the world. Whether playing classic string quartets by Mozart and Beethoven, or Lutosławski's foray into the genre, this outstanding ensemble is truly memorable.

This concert is part of Salon Encores.


  • Philharmonia Quartett Berlin
    ·· Daniel Stabrawa, Violin
    ·· Christian Stadelmann, Violin
    ·· Neithard Resa, Viola
    ·· Dietmar Schwalke, Cello


  • MOZART String Quartet in D Major, K. 499, "Hoffmeister"
  • LUTOSLAWSKI String Quartet
  • BEETHOVEN String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74, "Harp"

  • Encore:
  • MOZART Menuetto from Quartet in B-flat Major, K. 458, "Hunt"


  • Philharmonia Quartett Berlin

    The Philharmonia Quartett Berlin has celebrated a critically acclaimed career, establishing itself among the world's premiere string quartets with 20-plus years of international concerts and a large, diverse discography. The quartet's extensive concert calendar has taken its members to destinations throughout Europe, North and South America, as well as Asia.

    Founded in 1984 by the principal concertmaster and the string section leaders of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the quartet appears regularly at the world's most prestigious concert halls. Annual appearances include performances at the Berlin, Salzburg, and Bath festivals; as well as a series of five performances each season presented by the Berliner Philharmoniker. Other performance highlights include an invitation by his Excellence Pope Benedict XVI to perform a private concert at the Vatican, and regular invitations from the Spanish Royal Family to the Palacio Real de Madrid to play on the royal Stradivari instruments.

    The ensemble's extensive discography includes recordings of the quartets by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Shostakovich, and Reger for the Thorofon record label. The Reger recording was awarded the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis. The quartet is a two-time recipient of the ECHO Klassik Award for Chamber Music.

    Until the sudden death of the cellist Jan Diesselhorst in February 2009, the members of Philharmonia Quartet Berlin had never changed. Cellist Dietmar Schwalke continues the tradition of superb ensemble playing on the great stages of the world.

    More Info


Brahms's String Quartet No.2 In A Minor, Op.51, No.2, II. Andante Moderato
Juilliard String Quartet
Sony Classical

At a Glance

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  String Quartet in D Major, K. 499, "Hoffmeister"

Like the other two works on tonight's program, Mozart's D-Major Quartet was written by special request—in this case, for a Viennese publisher who was keen to cash in on the 30-year-old composer's fame and proven crowd-pleasing ability. Roughly contemporary with Le nozze di Figaro and the C-Minor Piano Concerto, the "Hoffmeister" Quartet is a tuneful, ingratiating, yet highly sophisticated work that offers something for amateurs and connoisseurs alike.


Polish composer Witold Lutosławski established his reputation in the second half of the 20th century with such works as the modernist tone poem Mi-Parti, the dreamy Les espaces du sommeil for baritone and orchestra, and the richly colored Third Symphony. His one and only String Quartet, distinguished by its innovative formal structure and use of chance techniques, was commissioned by Swedish Radio and premiered in Stockholm by the LaSalle Quartet on March 12, 1965.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74, "Harp" 

Along with the three "Razumovsky" quartets and the Op. 95 "Serioso" Quartet, the E-flat–Major Quartet of 1809 exemplifies the "heroic" and boldly unconventional style of Beethoven's so-called middle period. The Mozartean classicism of his early Op. 18 quartets, composed between 1798 and 1800, belonged almost to a different world. Dedicated to two of the composer's patrons, the "Harp" Quartet takes its name from the leaping pizzicato figures in the first movement.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Quartets Plus.

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