TUESDAY 24 March 2020
SIGNUM QUARTET (Germany)
with Bram van Sambeek (Netherlands), bassoon
|Xandi van Dijk
||Concertino for bassoon and string quartet
(arr. M. van Prooijen)
||New work composed for the string quartet biënnale 2020
||String quartet no.14, opus 131
Thanks to its rousing and lively interpretations and individual programme concepts, the Signum Quartet has made its mark on the international quartet scene and has established itself as one of the most distinguished ensembles of its generation.
Intensive studies with the Alban Berg Quartet, Artemis Quartet and the Melos Quartet as well as collaborations with György Kurtág, Walter Levin, Alfred Brendel, Leon Fleisher and Joerg Widmann have shaped the artistic development of the Signum Quartet, which has won numerous awards (German Music Competition, Premio Paolo Borciani, London International String Quartet Competition) and has been accorded intensive support (i.a. BBC New Generation Artists, stART-Programm/ Bayer Kultur).
Concert appearances have taken the Signum Quartet to international podia from Madrid and Barcelona to Basel and Paris. The quartet has performed at the Hamburg Laeiszhalle, the Pierre Boulez Saal and Berlin Philharmonie, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Luxemburg Philharmonie, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Vienna, the Wigmore Hall London, the Boston Harvard Musical Association as well as at the Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau and Schwetzingen Music Festivals and at the BBC Proms.
The Signum Quartet’s discography is a testament to their stylistic range: Next to the greats of the quartet literature, there are rarities such as the quartets of Ludwig Thuille and a recording of quartet movements.
Their recording ‘No.3’ (Bartók, Berg and Schnittke) was awarded the International Classical Music Awards 2014 ‘Best Chamber Music Recording’. Subsequent recordings include “soundescapes“ (Ravel, Debussy, Adčs) and “Alla czeca“ (Suk, Schulhoff, Dvorák). Most recently, the quartet has released “Aus der Ferne” with works by Franz Schubert, which has met with universal acclaim and was awarded the Diapason d‘Or for September 2018.
Regular collaborations with contemporary composers are an integral aspect of the Signum Quartet’s artistic work. Bruno Mantovani dedicated his String Quartet No. 3 to the ensemble. In 2019, the quartet will release premiere recordings of works by Erkki-Sven Tüür and Kevin Volans.
In 2015, the quartet launched its innovative social media project #quartweet, where composers of all ages and abilities are invited to tweet a short quartet of 140 notes or less on Twitter. The project has received much media attention and been featured on Deutschlandfunk, BBC In Tune and BR U-21. Contributing composers include Grawemeyer Award winners Brett Dean and Sebastian Currier, Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Bruno Mantovani, and Kevin Volans.
Chamber music partners of the quartet include Elisabeth Leonskaja, Joerg Widmann, Igor Levit, Nils Moenkemeyer, Adrian Brendel and Dominique Horwitz.
Bram van Sambeek (1980) was the first bassoonist ever to receive the highest Dutch Cultural Award in 30 years: The Dutch Music Prize, handed out to him personally by Minister of Culture Ronald Plasterk in 2009. On this occasion, Bram played the bassoon concerto by Gubaidulina with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and chief conductor Seguin. De Telegraaf newspaper wrote about this performance: “He uses his instrument freely as a mouthpiece, conjures the finest timbres, and is technically capable of doing anything.” In 2011 he won a Borletti Buitoni Trust Award, and he has been admitted to The Chamber Music Society Two programme of New York’s Lincoln Center. In 2018 Bram won the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award for the premiere recordings of the bassoon concertos by Kalevi Aho and Sebastian Fagerlund.
Bram van Sambeek performs regularly as a soloist with orchestras such as the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, The Gothenborg Symphony, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Oulu Symphony, and the South Netherlands Philharmonic. Many composers, such as Vanessa Lann and Sebastian Fagerlund, have written concertos for him.
From 2002 until 2011 Bram was Principal Bassoonist of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and since 2009 he has been teaching the bassoon at the Conservatories in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague. Last season he started a professorship exclusively at the Hochschule für Music und Tanz in Cologne. Bram has taught masterclasses at schools like Bloomington Indiana, the Royal College of London, and the Conservatory of Busan, Korea.
Homepage: signumquartet.com en