"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 is currently ensemble in residence at the Cerralbo Museum in Madrid.
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, Konserthuset Stockholm, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Stadtcasino Basel, Mozarteum Salzburg, Laieszhalle Hamburg, Lierderhalle Stuttgart, Palau de la Música in Barcelona, DeDoelen Rotterdam, Gonfallone di Roma, La Pergola in Firenze, Les Invalides in Paris, Martinu Hall in Prague; and at festivals including Heidelberger Frühling, Schwetzinger Festspiele, and the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam.
Regular stage partners include Martha Argerich, Jörg Widmann, Veronika Hagen, Javier Perianes, Clemens Hagen, Valentin Erben, Richard Lester, David Kadouch, Jonathan Brown, Cappella Amsterdam, and the Doric, Meta4, and Ardeo string quartets.
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 José 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 release, Und Es Ward Licht, is a double disc recorded with violist Veronika Hagen. Featuring four masterpieces by Haydn and Mozart all written in C-major, the symbolic key of Light, the recording aims to depict musically one of the most fascinating periods in music history: the birth and triumph of string quartet as a genre. Their previous 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.
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.
It is already audible and visible what distinguishes the Cuarteto Quiroga: the gift of listening to one another with exemplary devotion and reacting to one another with a devotion and desire, even in the event of minimal tempo shifts or dynamic changes, which – you guessed it – simply brings joy… you never have to wait for the extraordinary at this concert: it is omnipresent.
The first movement [of Ginastera's String Quartet No. 1] is entitled Allegro violento ed agitato and that's how it's played: with an immediate musical verve in the massively motoric passages and meticulous technical accuracy.
Elisabeth Feller, Tagblatt
International Quartet Series quartettissimo!, Bad Tölz
They interpreted the piece [Haydn 74/1] with contagious happiness. Strong musical accents and playfully delayed tempi, which at one point abruptly interrupted the melody, at another delayed it or suddenly resumed it, showing the great vitality of the ensemble.
Their body language also expressed it. The second violinist Cibran Sierra couldn't sit on his stool at times. In Haydn's third movement, Minuet Allegro, the musicians' legs moved in waltz time.
In the fourth movement… The resonant melodies of the high violins were underlined by the cello's voice with deep accents, as if agreeing.
This merry pleasure was followed by a completely different tuned Brahms with his String Quartet No. 2 in A minor op 51.2. The piece began with a longing. It seemed as light and effortless as Haydn, but the melody was repeatedly interrupted before it began again gently, but seemed disturbed and unsettled, which was the great contrast to the previous work.
The gentle second movement, Andante moderato, which the strings performed with great sensitivity, was an impressive contrast to our loud, media-ridden everyday life.
For Mozart's String Quintet in C major, KV 515, Veronika Hagen sat in the middle of the four colleagues and reinforced the warm sound of her colleague Josep Puchades' viola. The musicians did not dismiss the audience with melancholy, but returned to happiness.
Even if the recordings are a great listening pleasure: Experiencing these top musicians live is an unforgettable experience. Not only at the end, but after each performed piece, the nearly 300 listeners erupted in applause. Finally, the ensemble gave a short, inspiring encore by Bach, because "there can't be music without Bach," explained second violinist Sierra.
Birgit Botzenhart, Merkur
Sociedad Filarmónica de Gijón, Teatro Jovellanos de Gijón
The Quiroga Quartet's performance yesterday raised applause from those attending the Jovellanos Theater. The musicians Aitor Hevia, on violin; Cibrán Sierra, also on violin; Josep Puchades, on viola; and Helena Poggio, on cello, delighted the audience with two of the most renowned themes by the German composer Johannes Brahms composed for string quartet, number one and number two.
La Nueva España
Festival Brahms, Mallorca
The Majorcan public responded to the quartet’s concert with a 'sold out' performance. The performance of the Quartets no. 1 and no. 2 by Johannes Brahms, whose 125th anniversary is celebrated, thrilled the audience, who applauded the performers for minutes, forcing them to offer a delicious tip: In stiller Nacht.
Bienal Internacional de Cuartetos de Barcelona
Two Mozart string quintets (K515 in C major, and K516 in G minor) that followed that evening felt like a reward for the previous endurance test, particularly when performed so stylishly by the Quiroga Quartet with Isabel Charisius, whose dark-sounding Storioni was nicely set off by the lighter timbre of Quiroga violist Josep Puchades's Stephan von Baehr instrument. The G minor Quintet's first movement scurried by in 50 shades of piano, the first real forte exploding in the coda; conversely, the minuet's off-beat accents were forcefully realised. Each quintet was preceded by a group of Bach fugues as arranged by Mozart, and the encore was second violinist Cibrán Sierra's tasteful transcription of Bach's yearning sonatina from his cantata Acts tragicus BWV106.
The International Music Cycle 'Guadix Clásica'
Praised as one of the best string quartets in the world, the Quiroga Quartet, demonstrated why they are considered Masters. Magnificent, unsurpassed interpretation that set off the applause and cheers of the public.
La Gaceta de Granada
Stuttgart Debut in Mozartsaal Liederhalle, Stuttgart
On Tuesday evening, the Cuarteto Quiroga were guest at the Mozartsaal. Not yet well known in this country, but, relying on the acclaim of the audience, this should soon change. The four musicians vividly transported the content of the old scores into the present, endowing them with temperament, filigree; excellently shaping the individual lines, which merged into common gestures; subtly and refinedly using the dynamics down to the finest nuances of the piano and convincingly spinning a constantly changing dramaturgy of contrasts and tonal colours. The Cuarteto Quiroga does not merely play music; they play with it, and so, one follows the vivid discourses of the strings with all one's senses, spellbound.
All the above [applicable to their rendering of Haydn op.74/1] is also observed in their Beethoven op.95, probably the most uncompromising and concentrated of Beethoven's quartets. The three gentlemen of the quartet, on the high strings, and the cellist (Helena Poggio, sitting slightly distant) played with truly virtuosic speed and with an emphatic attention to detail that often surfaced as if out of nowhere. In the Finale, the piece seems as if it was about to fall apart: what a delightful risk-taking. and what tension was in the air! Not even the Argentinian Alberto Ginastera's first string quartet from 1948 —with which the Quiroga Quartet broke the complicated 20th century barrier in the Russ-Kammermusikreihe— detracted from what had gone before. On the contrary: a Mendelssohnian scherzo, passionate dance rhythms and the repeated homage to the sound of the guitar were the icing on the cake of a concert that ended with Galician folk music and that —due to the occasion— also included a Ukrainian folk song.
Susanne Benda in Stuttgarter Nachrichten
Cuarteto Quiroga at CNDM Liceo de Cámara
Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, November 2021
' 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
Recording review: Und Es Ward Licht! Haydn/Mozart quartets and quintets with Veronika Hagen.
Cobra Records, September 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."
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."
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
Recording review: Und Es Ward Licht! Cobra Records
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.
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.
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
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