Zehetmair Quartet

photo©Frederic Laverriere

Thomas Zehetmair, former music director of Royal Northern Sinfonia, conducted the opening concert of the new Sage Concert Hall in 2004.  Already established internationally as a violin soloist, he formed a string quartet in 1994, which initially intensively studied a single programme each season for performance from memory.  The quartet is particularly praised for its exploration of the Austro-German repertoire, its Schumann CD being awarded Gramophone magazine's Record of the Year.  

Anton Webern's 'six Bagatelles' are miniatures in the true sense - intense, but fleeting.  The first of Brahms's three popular quartets is, like his first symphony, in the dark and dramatic key of C minor.   The only mature string quartet by Sibelius is, like his orchestral music, rooted in the landscape, nature and culture of his native Finland.