NPR: Performance Today -- Live in Studio 4A -- Zehetmair Quartet

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Live in Studio 4A
Zehetmair Quartet
Zehetmair Quartet in Studio 4A The Germany-based Zehetmair Quartet is a part time ensemble that plays all its concerts from memory. Kicking off its seven-city North American tour, the Zehetmairs perform music of Robert Schumann and John Cage in Studio 4A.
The members of the Zehetmair Quartet are violinists Thomas Zehetmair and Matthias Metzger, violist Ruth Killius, and cellist Franšoise Groben.

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Selected Program Audio Excerpts

The Music

Zehetmair Quartet in Studio 4A
John Cage: "Quietly Flowing Along" and "Quodlibet"
from String Quartet for Four Parts

Robert Schumann: String Quartet Op. 41, No. 1

Sandor Veress: Four Transylvanian Dances (2nd & 4th)
Thomas Zehetmair conducts Camerata Bern (ECM 289 465 778-2)

The Musicians

Zehetmair Quartet in Studio 4A
Crazy tour schedule
Thomas Zehetmair reflects on the quartet's hectic North American tour schedule.

To memorize, or not to memorize
Zehetmair explains why the quartet doesn't always play from memory as they used to do.

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The Zehetmair Quartet was founded in 1997 by the distinguished violinist Thomas Zehetmair and three of his longstanding chamber music partners, who meet together to prepare programs for their annual concert tours. The quartet's first appearances in March 1998 (Lisbon, Cologne, Leipzig, Salzburg, and Munich) were widely acclaimed by both audiences and critics. Meanwhile the Zehetmair Quartet has established itself one of the leading string quartets in the world. In fall 2001 the quartet has been very successful with its US debut. It will visit Japan for the first time in spring 2002. The quartet's repertoire extends from the classical period to the music of our time, and their first CD recording for ECM is of Hartmann's First and Bartˇk's Fourth String Quartets. The next CD, which will be released in spring 2002, is dedicated to the String Quartets by Schumann.

Thomas Zehetmair Thomas Zehetmair was born in Salzburg. He studied at the Mozarteum with his father and later took master classes with Franz Samokyl, Max Rostal and Nathan Milstein. Early debuts were the Salzburg Festival (1977) first recording of Mozart Concertos (1998) and the Vienna Musikverein (1979). He is now a regular guest of the world's finest orchestras, working with distinguished conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Simon Rattle, Christoph von Dohnanyi and Heinz Holliger. His chamber music partners have included Alfred Brendel, Heinrich Schiff and Gidon Kremer, and he has recorded for Teldec, Berlin-Classics, EMI and Phillips. He will take up his first appointment as artistic director of the Northern Sinfonia in fall 2001.

Matthias Metzger Matthias Metzger studied with Ulf Hoelscher at the Musikhochschule in Karlsruhe, taking part in the master classes of Reinhard Goebel, Robert Soetens, Victor Pikaizen, Gerhard Schulz and Roman Nodel, and the interpretation classes of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He was appointed leader of the Schlierbach Chamber Orchestra in 1987, and of the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra in 1993. Matthias Metzger performs regularly as soloist and in chamber music, with partners including Christian Zacharias, Michael Ponti, and Gerrit Zitterbart.

Ruth Killius Ruth Killius studied with Ulrich Koch and Kim Kashkashian. From 1993-6 she was principal viola player of the Camerata Bern. With the Ensemble Contrechamps she has taken part in numerous first performances. Ruth Killius performed as soloist of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest in The Hague, the Basel Sinfonie Orchester and on tour in South America and Russia with the Orchestra of the 18th Century. She regularly plays chamber music with the Ensemble Aventure, Heinz Holliger and Thomas Demenga. Ruth Killius holds a professorship at the Johannes Gutenberg Universitńt Mainz since 2001.

Franšoise Groben Franšoise Groben studied with Boris Pergamenschikow at the Cologne Musikhochschule and subsequently with William Pleeth, Daniel Shaffran, and members of the Amadeus Quartet. In 1990 she won 2nd prize in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and was awarded special prizes by the Soviet Artists' Federation and the Moscow Virtuosi. Since then she has received invitations to major festivals and orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the NHK Tokyo, Leningrad Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, and the Russian State Orchestra, and made CD recordings for Cappriccio, EMI, and Naxos.

Mariedi Anders Artists Management, January 2003