Arditti Quartet 

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2024!

“...consummate, extraordinary mastery.”
- The Guardian

︎Manu Theobald

"An evening with the Arditti Quartet puts your inner compass in a powerful spin. Expect the unexpected with a quartet which so often strays far from the beaten track.” - Hamburger Abendblatt
The Arditti Quartet enjoys a global reputation for their spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary and earlier 20th century music. Several hundred string quartets and other chamber works have been written for the ensemble since its foundation by first violinist Irvine Arditti in 1974. These works have left a permanent mark on 20th century repertoire and the genre itself, and have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music history.  The quartet celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024.

Such composers as Adès, Aperghis, Birtwistle, Cage, Carter, Dufourt, Dusapin, Fedele, Ferneyhough, Francesconi, Gubaidulina, Harvey, Hosokawa, Kagel, Kurtág, Lachenmann, Ligeti, Nancarrow, Rihm, Scelsi, Sciarrino and Stockhausen have entrusted the world premieres of their music to them, and the quartet’s repertoire comprises all of the string quartets of many of the above composers and others.

The ensemble believes that close collaboration with composers is vital to the process of interpreting modern music and therefore attempts to collaborate with every composer whose works it plays. Teaching for many years at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music among others, the players have given numerous master classes and workshops for young performers and composers all over the world.

The Arditti Quartet’s extensive discography now features well over 200 CDs.
42 discs have so far been released as part of the ensemble’s continuing series on the French label Naïve Montaigne alone. The series presents numerous contemporary composer features as well as the first digital recordings of the complete Second Viennese School’s string quartet music. The quartet is renowned for recording many composers’ works in their presence, including the complete quartets of Luciano Berio shortly before his death. Legendary episodes in recent music history have also been immortalised on CD, such as Stockhausen’s spectacular Helicopter Quartet.

"With their tantilisingly nonchalant accomplishment, one sometimes forgets the enormous difficulties of the works. [...]For the Ardittis, the term 'unplayable' does not exist.They always maintain control and most certainly never lack musical presence, charisma and energy."- Schweitzer Musikzeitung

Over the past five decades, the ensemble has received many prizes for its work. It has won the Deutscher Schallplatten Preis several times and the Gramophone Award for the best recording of contemporary music in 1999 (Elliott Carter), 2002 (Harrison Birtwistle) and 2018 (Pascal Dusapin).

The prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded to them in 1999 for lifetime achievement in music, setting the quartet on a par with other winners such as Berio, Britten, Carter, Ferneyhough, Lachenmann, Ligeti and Rihm.

︎ Alexandre Delmar

New quartet works, 2020-23:

Nina Šenk,  To see a World in a Grain of Sand

Clara Maïda, ...das spinnt... for amplified string quartet

Dániel Péter Biró, String Quartet No. 2  Lishkoach Velizkor (To Forget and to Remember)

Betsy Jolas, Quatuor VIIITopeng

Toshio Hosokawa, Passage

Christian Mason, The present moment used to be the unimaginable future

James Clarke, String Quartet No. 5

James Clarke, String Quartet No.6

Tansy Davies, Nightingale: Ultra Deep Sound

Jannik Giger, Oeil

Michael Pelzel, Scintille dans la Lumière

Stylianos Dimou, en tranche

Arditti Quartet performs complete works for string quartet by:

Eliott Carter
Pascal Dusapin
Jonathan Harvey
Toshio Hosokawa
Helmut Lachenmann
György Ligeti
Conlon Nancarrow
Wolfgang Rihm
Iannis Xenakis
Georg Friedrich Haas
Harrison Birtwistle

︎ Repertoire Catalogue

Works for quartet and orchestra:

James Dillon, The Gates

Pascal Dusapin, Streichquartett Nr. 6 "Hinterland"

Morton Feldman, String Quartet and Orchestra

Helmut Lachenmann, Tanzsuite mit Deutschlandlied

Philippe Manoury, Melencolia-Figuren
(exists also as String Quartet Nr. 3 "Melencolia")

Wolfgang Rihm, Dithyrambe for string quartet and orchestra

Johannes Maria Staud, Über trügerische Stadtpläne und die Versuchungen der Winternächte (Dichotomie 2)

Arditti Quartet & Jake Arditti (countertenor)

︎ Andy Staples

Sample programmes for quartet + countertenor

James Dillon: String Quartet Nr. 9
Hilda Paredes: Tres Canciones Lunáticas(+countertenor)
Hans Werner Henze: String Quartet Nr. 5
Salvatore Sciarrino: Cosa resta (+ countertenor)

Hilda Paredes: Tres canciones lunáticas» 
Jannik Giger: Œil (World Premiere 2021)
Salvatore Sciarrino: Cosa resta
Hans Werner Henze: String Quartet Nr. 5

“The sanity of lunacy”:
Wolfgang Rihm: String Quartet Nr. 13
Salvatore Sciarrino: Cosa Resta
Pascal Dusapin: String Quartet Nr. 5
Hilda Paredes: Tres Canciones Lunáticas