Performance Friday, March 14, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Hugo Wolf Quartet

Weill Recital Hall
Vienna's Hugo Wolf Quartet has been a fixture on the international chamber music scene, fascinating audiences around the globe with its “bold and gripping performance[s]” (The Washington Post) of the standard and not-so-standard repertoire. The intrepid ensemble performs playful, jovial works by Haydn and Schubert, plus Berg’s tome to the urgent passions and melancholy regrets of an extramarital affair.

This concert is part of Salon Encores.


  • Hugo Wolf Quartet
    ·· Sebastian Gürtler, Violin
    ·· Régis Bringolf, Violin
    ·· Thomas Selditz, Viola
    ·· Florian Berner, Cello


  • HAYDN String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2, "Joke"
  • BERG Lyric Suite
  • SCHUBERT String Quartet in G Major, D. 887

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Hugo Wolf Quartet

    For 20 years, the Hugo Wolf Quartet has been a fixture on the international chamber music scene and has fascinated audiences around the globe. Through training with the Alban Berg, Smetana, Amadeus, and LaSalle quartets, as well as with pianist Ferenc Rados, the ensemble laid the cornerstone for a highly successful career. Founded in Vienna in 1993, the Hugo Wolf Quartet soon won such coveted awards as the Special Prize of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the European Chamber Music Prize, followed by the International String Quartet Competition in Cremona in 1995-the same year that the ensemble made its debut in the Vienna Konzerthaus.

    In 1998, Vienna's Musikverein and Konzerthaus elected the four members as Rising Stars. Since then, the quartet has regularly performed in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, London's Wigmore Hall, New York's Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and Berlin's Philharmonie, as well as at the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, Colmar International Festival, La folle journée de Nantes, and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. For five years, the Hugo Wolf Quartet has also performed its own concert series in the renowned Vienna Konzerthaus.

    The quartet equally emphasizes the Classical/Romantic and contemporary repertoire. Choosing Hugo Wolf as its namesake is telling in this regard, for Wolf was a composer on the cusp between Romanticism and Modernism, with an inquisitive artistic mindset that remained open to the past and future alike. Numerous compositions have been written for and premiered by the Hugo Wolf Quartet, including Friedrich Cerha's String Quartet No. 4; Johannes Maria Staud's Dichotomie; string quartets by Erich Urbanner, Dirk D'Ase, and Otto M. Zykan; and a quartet and octet by jazz guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel.

    Its recordings of string quartets by Beethoven (released by Gramola in 2001) and Franz Schubert (released by VMS Records in 2009) each won Austrian radio station Ö1's Pasticcio Prize. The quartet's close collaboration with legendary jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and pianist John Taylor is documented on the recording Other People (2006, CAM Jazz). Other offerings from the Hugo Wolf Quartet on the VMS label include a live performance of Haydn string quartets at the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, the complete works for string quartet by Hugo Wolf, a live recording of the Schubert D. 803 Octet, and 2013's Tristans langer Schatten.

    In June 2013, Thomas Selditz, for many years a member of Streichtrio Berlin and a professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, joined the Hugo Wolf Quartet as its new violist. The quartet knows him well through earlier collaborations and is happy to welcome him into the ensemble. At this time, the Hugo Wolf Quartet would also like to thank Gertrud Weinmeister, who left the quartet for personal reasons, for her contribution to many wonderful years of successful concerts.

    More Info


Schubert's String Quartet in G Major, D. 887 (Allegro assai)
Hugo Wolf Quartet

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2, "Joke"

Prolific and endlessly imaginative, Haydn virtually invented the string quartet as we know it. In the democratic spirit of the Enlightenment, he gradually worked out a style in which all four instruments were more or less equal partners, thus laying the foundation for the carefully balanced quartets of Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn's chamber music style is compounded of elegance and humor, both of which are on display in the "Joke" Quartet, with its radiant slow movement and whimsical Finale.

ALBAN BERG  Lyric Suite 

Berg was in his mid-40s when he wrote his best-known piece of chamber music as a cryptic love letter to his paramour, Hanna Fuchs-Robettin. Like Berg's opera Wozzeck and other works, the Lyric Suite fuses a strict, modernist 12-tone idiom with a freer Romantic impulse. The suite's "secret program" made headlines around the world when it was brought to light by American composer and musicologist George Perle in the June 1977 issue of the International Alban Berg Society Newsletter.

FRANZ SCHUBERT  String Quartet in G Major, D. 887

Schubert completed a total of 15 quartets, the first when he was barely 13, the last some two years before his untimely death. In the mid-1820s, he became fixated on the idea of writing a "grand symphony" on the order of Beethoven's Ninth. Although that ambitious project never came to fruition, his last three quartets—the G-Major Quartet of 1826 and the quartets in A minor ("Rosamunde") and D minor ("Death and the Maiden"), both written in 1824—were clearly conceived on a symphonic scale.

Program Notes


Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning, Jeremy Geffen, discusses Berg's Lyric Suite.

An Introduction to Vienna: City of Dreams

Lead funding for Vienna: City of Dreams is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This performance is part of Quartets Plus, and Vienna: City of Dreams.

Part of