The Sunday Times
Judith Van Driel, Violin
Marleen Wester, Violin
Marie-Louise de Jong, Viola
David Faber, Cello
The Dudok Quartet Amsterdam is forging a reputation as one of the most creative and versatile young quartets of its generation. With its ethos of “sharing the heart of music”, the Quartet is committed to crafting unique and eclectic programs in order to engage with its audiences in new and imaginative ways.
In repertoire ranging from Ligeti, Shostakovich and Weinberg through to Mendelssohn, Mozart and Beethoven, the Dudok Quartet constantly strives to forge and explore new pathways and connections in music. Their intelligent approach and flair for programming also sees them regularly perform their own arrangements of pieces and they have so far produced arrangements of composers including Gesualdo, des Prez and Brahms. Collaboration is a key part of the Quartet’s mission and recent partners have included Pieter Wispelwey, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Hannes Minnaar, Erik Bosgraaf and Annelien Van Wauwe.
The Dudok Quartet has performed at many of the major European venues and festivals including the Vienna Konzerthaus, Beethovenhaus Bonn, De Doelen, Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Heidelberg String Quartet Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Festival Quatuors à Bordeaux and the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, as well as appearing regularly at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Amsterdam Muziekgebouw. The Quartet made its US debut in January 2018 at the Northwestern University Winter Chamber Music Festival resulting in an immediate re-invitation for the 2019/20 season. Elsewhere in the US, the 19/20 season sees the Quartet make its New York debut at the Park Avenue Armory.
European highlights of the current season include debuts at London’s Wigmore Hall and Barcelona Auditori as well as engagements in Belfast, Würzburg and returns to the Mecklenburg Vorpommern and West Cork Chamber Music Festivals. The Quartet returns to major Dutch venues including De Doelen, Tivoli Vredenburg, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. They also return to the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw where they will perform in the Bruckner Festival as well as taking part in the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, where they give the world premiere of a festival commission from Dutch composer Joey Roukens. Another festival highlight sees the Quartet give the first performance of their own arrangement of Messiaen’s Oraison.
In 2015 the Dudok Quartet released its first recording on the Resonus Classics label: Métamorphoses explores the theme of musical innovation through works by Ligeti, Haydn and Brahms and was awarded Editor’s Choice in Gramophone. The Quartet’s critically acclaimed second release in 2017, entitled Labyrinth, explores the use of counterpoint in works by Mozart, Ligeti and Bach. Their 2018 disc Solitude features works by Mendelssohn, Weinberg and Shostakovich curated around the theme of loss and loneliness with The Strad praising the disc as “an intense listening experience that will have you on the edge of your seat”. The Quartet’s next recording, the first installment of the complete Haydn Opus 20 Quartets, will be released in autumn 2019.
Other recent projects have included the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s opera Only the Sound Remains with Philippe Jaroussky and Dutch National Opera and a collaboration with director Rosabel Huguet re-imagining Beethoven’s Op 132 String Quartet for children. Entitled Quartet! A card game with Beethoven the Quartet has so far taken the project to venues including the Vienna Konzerthaus and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden as part of their ongoing commitment to education and outreach work, with future performances including at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. Another significant project of future seasons will be the Quartet’s Rape of Artemisia program. Developed in a residency at Snape Maltings (Aldeburgh) alongside recorder player Erik Bosgraaf, soprano Michaela Riener and composers Josephine Stephenson and Antti Auvinen, the project recounts the famous legal battle Artemisia Gentileschi fought against Agostino Tassi, who raped her at age 16. The project explores themes including abuse of power, seduction, violence and female artistic strength.
Having first met as members of the Ricciotti Ensemble, a Dutch street symphony orchestra, the Dudok Quartet studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne with the Alban Berg Quartet and later at the Dutch String Quartet Academy with Marc Danel of the Danel Quartet. Other important mentors include Eberhard Feltz, Peter Cropper (Lindsay Quartet), Luc-Marie Aguera (Quatuor Ysaÿe) and Stefan Metz. Winner of a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, other awards include prizes at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition and Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition Weimar as well as the prestigious Dutch Kersjes Prize (2014).
The Quartet performs on instruments generously on loan from the Dutch Musical Instrument Foundation (NMF); violins by Francesco Goffriller and Vincenzo Panormo, viola by Max Möller and cello by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. It takes its name from renowned Dutch architect Willem Marinus Dudok (1884–1974). A great lover of music, Dudok came from a musical family and composed in his spare time, saying “I feel deeply the common core of music and architecture: after all, they both derive their value from the right proportions”.