"exquisite: precise, perfectly balanced, interpretively fresh performances, couched in consistently warm hues"
The New York Times
"A beautiful tone combined with an unblemished technique […] The sound quality and balance between instruments is admirable […] every detail in the score is faithfully reproduced"
"Impeccable attacks, a sound so smooth and in tune, so beautiful it almost hurts.."
Praised by The New York Times for its "exquisite and interpretively fresh performances”, Cuarteto Quiroga has established itself as one of the most dynamic and unique quartets of its generation, winning international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for its distinctive personality as well as its bold and original approach to the string quartet repertoire.
Winners of the prestigious 2018 National Music Award of Spain and prizewinners of several major international competitions (Bordeaux, Paolo Borciani, Geneva, Beijing, Fnapec-Paris, Palau Barcelona), in 2013 Cuarteto Quiroga became the first artists in residence of the Royal Palace of Madrid, allowing them to give performances on a unique set of decorated Stradivari instruments.
The Quartet appears at venues including the Pierre Boulez Saal, Konzerthaus and Philharmonie in Berlin, Wigmore Hall London, The Frick Collection and Lincoln Center in New York, DaCamera in Los Angeles, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Les Invalides in Paris, Martinu Hall in Prague, Nybrokajen Stockholm, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Stadtcasino Basel, Mozarteum Salzburg, and at festivals including Heidelberger Frühling and the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam.
Regular stage partners include Martha Argerich, Jörg Widmann, Veronika Hagen, Javier Perianes, Valentin Erben, Richard Lester, David Kadouch, Jonathan Brown, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Cappella Amsterdam, and the Doric, Meta4, Ardeo and Galatea string quartets.
During the 2020/21 season heavily affected by the pandemic the Quartet is seen performing across Europe, including concerts at deSingel Antwerp, Stadtcasino Basel, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Auditiorio Nacional and the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, Musika-Música Festival in Bilbao, and the Schwetzinger SWR Festival. They are now ensemble in residence at the Cerralbo Museum in Madrid.
Passionate advocates of contemporary repertoire, the Quartet collaborates regularly with living composers, and is dedicated to presenting and recording new works to establish a constant dialogue between tradition and new music. They have premiered works by prominent composers such as Peter Eötvös, Cristóbal Halffter, Jose María Sánchez-Verdú, Antón García-Abril, Jesús Villa-Rojo, Marisa Manchado, Narine Khachatryan, and Cecilia Díaz. They have performed the complete works by György Kurtág and, in future seasons, they will premiere works by Jonathan Dove, Jörg Widmann and Jose Luis Turina.
Since 2012, Cuarteto Quiroga has embarked on an ambitious journey to build an inspired and unique recording catalogue with the independent Dutch label Cobra Records. Their latest disc, Heritage, offers an eloquent anthology of the string quartet music scene in Madrid in the time of Goya. Released in 2019, this “necessary album” (Scherzo) is performed on gut strings and it includes two world premiere recordings by Boccherini and Brunetti. Their debut album, pairing Haydn and Webern with Sollima, won the CD of the Year 2012 Award, given by the Independent Producers Union (UFI). Previous critically acclaimed recordings for Cobra include albums of the early music of Schönberg, Webern and Alban Berg; of Brahms’ Opus 51 quartets; and of Bartók, Ginastera & Halffter. In 2016, they released a recording with Javier Perianes for Harmonia Mundi including piano quintet rarities by Granados and Turina. Future releases include a double disc of quartets and quintets by Haydn and Mozart with Veronika Hagen.
Formed in 2003, Cuarteto Quiroga takes its name from the Galician violinist Manuel Quiroga, one of the most outstanding string players in Spanish music history. They studied with Rainer Schmidt at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid, with Walter Levin at the Musikakademie in Basel, and with Hatto Beyerle at the European Chamber Music Academy. Further important artistic influences are Johannes Meissl, György Kurtág, András Keller, Eberhard Feltz and Ferenc Rados. Strongly committed to chamber music teaching, they hold professorships at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Zaragoza, Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Musikene in San Sebastián, and at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid. They are regularly invited to give masterclasses at universities and music conservatories throughout Europe, the USA, and Latin America.
The Quartet’s violinist Cibrán Sierra plays the 1682 Nicola Amati violin “Arnold Rosé” generously on loan from Paola Modiano’s heirs.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Recording review: Und Es Ward Licht! Cobra Records, August 2021
"It is the Viennese Classical that seems to be the perfect fit for the Spanish Cuarteto Quiroga – not to mention the German violist Veronika Hagen in Mozart's String Quintet –. This double album proves it in abundance: the technically flawless playing, the ideal balance, the impeccable vocals, the pithy, expressive and therefore catchy, the brilliant and muscled, but also refined and subtle playing, which shows the four works from their best side. [...] It sounds just as refreshing, the play of light and dark just as phenomenally elaborated, the vibrato only as expressive curly brace and the beautiful dynamic discourse that proves itself by its subtle character. So much joy in the play, and so many ravishing details."
"Het is de Weense Klassiek die het Spaanse Cuarteto Quiroga – en niet te vergeten de Duitse altvioliste Veronika Hagen in Mozarts Strijkkwintet – . Dit dubbelalbum bewijst het in overvloed: het technisch feilloze spel, de ideale balans, de onberispelijke stemvoering, het kernachtige, expressieve en daarmee pakkende, het briljante engespierde, maar ook verfijnde en subtiele spel, dat vier werken van van hun beste kant laat zien. [...] Het klinkt net zo verfrissend, het spel van licht en donker net zo fenomenaal uitgewerkt, het vibrato alleen als expressieve accolade en het fraaie dynamische discours dat zich bewijst door het subtiele karakter ervan. Zoveel spelvreugde en zoveel ravissante details."
Aart van der Wal in Opus Klassiek
" The four works on this double CD are beacons of light due to their great eloquence and rays of light. They are a journey from darkness to light, from ingenuity to genius, from the human to the sublime. A journey into the roots of Europe's musical and cultural identity. Sublime."
"De vier werken op deze dubbel-cd zijn door hun grote welsprekendheid en lichtstralen, bakens van licht. Ze vormen een reis van duisternis naar licht, van vindingrijkheid naar genie, van het menselijke naar het sublieme. Een reis naar de wortels van Europa’s muzikale en culturele identiteit. Subliem."
Michel Dutrieue in Stretto
"I'm impressed from the first bars… and not for the first time, because with the recordings of Cuarteto Quiroga released to date on [...] Cobra Records, this happens to me time and again. The impassioned playing of this quartet, which has four beautiful instruments, moves you deeply with the works now played from the 'father' of the string quartet – Joseph Haydn."
Theo Wubbolts in Musicemotion
Cuarteto Quiroga at CNDM Liceo de Cámara
10/11/2021 Auditorio Nacional de Madrid
' What makes the Quiroga Quartet unique is not only its discipline, but its talent. The talent of its members is what has led them to become one of the best quartets in the world, and it's what allows them to face with solvency any type of repertoire, from Classicism (Haydn and Mozart, of course, but also Boccherini, Brunetti or Canales) to contemporary music (Schoenberg, Halffter or Sollima). '
'Lo que singulariza al Cuarteto Quiroga no es su disciplina, que también, sino su talento. El talento de sus miembros es lo que le ha llevado a ser uno de los mejores cuartetos del mundo y lo que le permite afrontar con solvencia cualquier tipo de repertorio, desde el Clasicismo (Haydn y Mozart, por supuesto, pero también Boccherini, Brunetti o Canales) hasta la música contemporánea (Schoenberg, Halffter o Sollima).'
Eduardo Torrico, Scherzo
Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, March 2021
Works by Mozart, Berg & Beethoven
"Last Tuesday we were able to experience one of the moments that will surely remain in our memory as one of the most stimulating of the Palau de la Música Catalana's season [...] A recital of talent, coherence, narrative, depth and aesthetic beauty [...] an explosion of contrasts [...] With just a few bars we already had enough to recognise Cuarteto Quiroga’s spectacular nature: the quality of the sound, the complicity between inner and outer voices, the perfectly balanced coupling between instruments, the immense palette of colours and, in the midst of all this lyricism, the outburst of bodily expression and overflowing energy of someone who wants to communicate everything […]"
"The session allowed us to rediscover the pure, crystalline sound of four first-rate musicians who have been playing together for many years and, more importantly, listening to each other. Impeccable attacks, a sound so smooth and in tune, so beautiful it almost hurts... and above all, an exquisite taste for detail. The quality of a quartet could be measured not only by how well each of the players performs as soloists, but by the care they take in the interpretation of those passages in which the leading role is taken by a colleague. In the Quiroga, the mastery of these second planes is absolute. There is not a phrase, however anodyne and irrelevant it may seem, that is not studied to the millimetre. They are aware —and one can hear it in their playing— that in the chamber music scores of the great composers everything is there for a reason."
Recording reviews: Heritage - The Music of Madrid in the Time of Goya
Cobra Records, March 2021
"Supremely skilled performers carefully nuancing each phrase, their gut strings adding golden warmth to the timbre [...] Much lauded for their gloriously impeccable string playing, the Quiroga players deliver elegant performances [...]"
"This CD album was necessary [...] these are dazzling readings, performed in the strictest historicism, that come [...] to demonstrate the protean condition of this ensemble, capable of moving with identical (and insulting) ease and proficiency between contemporary repertoire and classicism, or in any other style."
"a very homogeneous sound, an almost ideal balance of wide overview and loving refinement of the details, of spontaneity and discipline"
Recording reviews: FREI ABER EINSAM - Brahms, the Opus 51 String Quartets
Cobra Records, November 2015
"The Quiroga’s A minor Quartet is very different, the bold and dark mood of the opening contrasting with a gently lyrical approach to the central section of the first movement. Rubato is used to shape the long phrases in the second movement, and the scherzo’s perfectly judged ‘wispy’ moments bring a charm that spills over into the finale. Pushing the pulse forwards, this highly desirable performance closes with a pleasing vivacity. Throughout both works, the Spanish-based ensemble produces a beautiful tone combined with an unblemished technique [...] The sound quality and balance between instruments is admirable"
"Fine, sensitive and thoughtful performances by a Quartet which communicates conviction and belief in the music. The playing is first class and very transparent"
"All it took was 15 seconds of the Madrid based Cuarteto Quiroga’s Op. 51 No. 1 to change my mind about these quartets, forever I think. In that first 15 seconds several things registered: superb dynamics, faultless balance and intonation, visceral energy and – passion! [...] In short, I don’t think you’ll hear better Brahms string quartet playing than this – or for that matter better string quartet recording [...] What the Cuarteto Quiroga bring to their performances is a level of musical communication that takes you to the heart of the composition, and the composer."
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