Arditti Quartet

The Arditti Quartet enjoys a worldwide 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 have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music history.

The ensemble believes that close collaboration with composers is vital to the process of interpreting modern music and therefore attempts to co-operate with every composer whose works it plays.
World premieres of quartets by composers such as Adès, Birtwistle, Bertrand, Britten, Cage, Dufourt, Dusapin, Francesconi, Gubaidulina, Hosokawa, Kurtag, Ligeti, Maderna, Nancarrow, Rhim, Scelsi, Sciarrino and Stockhausen show the wide range of music in the Arditti Quartet’s repertoire.
Teaching for many years at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, the players gave numerous master classes and workshops for young performers and composers all over the world.

The Arditti Quartet’s extensive discography now features well over 170 CDs. 42 discs have so far been released as part of the ensemble’s continuing series on the French label Naïve Montaigne.  The recordings include the complete string quartetts of Luciano Berio, Brian Ferneyhough, Jonathan Harvey, Wolfgang Rihm und Helmut Lachenmann.

Over the past 40 years, the ensemble has received many prizes for its work. They have won the Deutsche Schallplatten Preis several times and the Gramophone Award for the best recording of contemporary music in 1999 (Elliott Carter) and 2002 (Harrison Birtwistle). The prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize was awarded to them in 1999 for ‘lifetime achievement’ in music. In 2004 the Académie Charles Cros has awarded the Arditti Quartet the Honorary Coup de Coeur, for their “contribution to the diffusion of the music in our time”.