Arcadia Quartet

"The Romanian ensemble lives through the emotional eruptions in Janáček’s music with heart and soul ... every accent is a stich into the heart."
Marcus Stäbler, Fono Forum, April 2014

“the playing has such intensity....The result is an assault on the senses, piercing the heart of this unsettling music”
The Financial Times, September 2013

Winners of the 2014 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, the 2012 Wigmore Hall London International String Quartet Competition, the 2011 Almere International Chamber Music Competition in 2011 and the International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg in 2009, the Arcadia Quartet is rapidly establishing itself as one of the most exciting string quartets of their generation.

Formed in 2006 while students at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Romania, the quartet has performed across the world including performances at the Budapest Spring Festival, George Enescu Festival in Heidelberg, Cite International des Arts in Paris, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Pollack Hall in Montreal, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, Q’arto Mondi Festival in Poland, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Tel-Aviv, Portugal, Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, Kammermusiktage Mettlach, Zeist Music Days Festival in The Netherlands, throughout the United Kingdom and and in Beijing. The 14/15 season included a 12 concert tour of Japan and concerts throughout Europe including at the Wigmore Hall, Vienna Musikverein, Aldeburgh Festival, Berlin Konzerthaus, North Norfolk Music Festival, Enescu Festival and in Madrid. The Quartet made their BBC Radio 3 debut with a broadcast concert from the Wigmore Hall in March 2015, and in April 2015 were invited to become the prestigious ‘Tinerimea Română’ National Art Centre of Bucharest’s Quartet-in-Residence, playing six concerts a year broadcast by the Romanian Broadcasting Company.

The Quartet returned to the United Kingdom in the 15/16 season to give a 14 concert tour of Scotland and the United Kingdom and perform extensively throughout Europe including performances at the Musikfestival Rheinhessen, Grafenegg Festival, Silver Lyre Festival in Saint Petersburg, Euroarts Festival in Prague and further concerts in Germany, Transylvania and Romania. In 2017 the Quartet makes debuts in Venice, Bologna and Istanbul alongside further concerts in Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom including the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where their concert will be recorded by BBC Radio 3.

The Arcadia Quartet’s debut disc of works by Mendelssohn and Brahms was released by Fontenay Classics in 2009 attracting critical acclaim. Ensemble Magazin wrote of “their intimate performance”, “their exceptional sonority” and their “expressive power which leaves a deep impression on the listener”. Their recording of Janacek Quartet No.1 and No.2 was released on the Orchid Classics label in October 2013. The Sunday Times wrote of of ‘a beauty that pierces the heart’ that ‘both works are played with searing intensity by the fine young Romanian quartet’. The Financial Times wrote that the quartet ‘create a mood of edgy expressionism that, in its violent swings and chromatic stresses, is shockingly direct and dramatic, like an opera – or a nightmare’, that ‘the result is an assault on the senses, piercing the heart of this unsettling music.’

The quartet are delighted to announce that they will begin recording the complete Bartok quartets for Chandos Records in August 2017, for release in late 2018.

Valid until September 2017

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Short Profile

NameArcadia Quartet Founded2006
Home LocationCluj-Napoca, Romania
Main languageEnglish Additional languages Romanian; Moldavian; Moldovan,  Hungarian,  French,  German 
2015-03-27, London
"Haydn's String Quartet in E flat, Op.33 No.2 proved the perfect vehicle for the Arcadia to display the elegance and grace of their playing. (...) The Trio was full of rustic charm, as the Arcadia perfectly strode the fine line between bucolic authenticity and wry parody. [...]"
(Claire Seymour)
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Arcadian String Quartet of Romania Review
2015-10-12, Aberdeen
"(nn Bartok no. 4) Here dance was the thing, so fast and so furious that the playing of the Arcadia Quartet really took fire. It was incandescent."
(Alan Cooper)
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2015-10-13 Alnwick Music Society, Alnwick
"Needless to say, the Arcadia Quartet are a superb ensemble, with corporate precision coupled with great expressiveness (...)"
(Martin Gillham)
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2015-10-14, Kirkcaldy
"(...) They certainly lived up to their reputation, as the audience was left breathless by their playing. [...]"
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2015-11-27 Nichloas Yonge Society, Lewes
"Its mastery of tone as well as technique was soon stablished in the opening number, Haydn's string quartet in b flat, opus 1 no 1, (...) it was played with rare sensitivity by the quartet, with never a jarring fortissimo to spoil the mood.(...)What was never in doubt was the quartet's commitment to the music and the brilliance of all four players faced by such a demanding score. (nn Bartok no. 4) [...]"
(Nicholas Tucker)
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2015-05-06, Tonbridge
"[...] this outstanding quartet makes the most wonderful sound and is at the cutting edge amongst current European interpreters. [...]"
(Chris Broomfield)
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Great musical moments High standard chamber music experiences at the Clara Haskil Festival
2014-09-12 Algemeine Deutsche Zeitung, Sibiu
"(...) Humbleness to each other, to the public and not least to the performed works distinguished the approach of the quartet members, who did not transform their performance into a narcissistic self-display, but let the music emerge, just like Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau used to say: The outstanding artist is the one who disappears behind the masterwork.(...)"
(Klaus Philippi)
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Acrobatics and acumen
2014-08-01 The Strad,
"Uncompromising repertoire and a gruelling schedule challenged both competitors and jury at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, writes Pauline Harding
(…) it was Arcadia that impressed the judjes and audience the most, with a musical, technically accomplished Beethoven op.131 that was met at its end by rapturous cheering and applause.
(Pauline Harding)
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Merveilleux Mendelssohn et Schubert, par le QUATUOR ARCADIA
2014-08-25, Montréal
"(…) d'un lyrisme à faire frémir. Le jeu nuancé des instrumentistes rend justice à cette grande œuvre. Le mouvement lent, Adagio, est le centre de gravité de l'œuvre : 15 minutes d'émotions fortes qui nous semblent suspendues dans le temps."
(Benoit Bergeron)
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McGill: bouleversant Schubert
2014-08-24 La Presse, Montréal
"(...) Ce mouvement lent (Adagio - Schubert Quintet) nous transportait dans un tout autre monde, très loin de celui, complètement déchiré, où nous vivons hélas!..."
(Claude Gingras)
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Osaka Competition Pulls International Chamber Groups
2014-06-26 Classical Voice North America,
"Arcadia (…) impressed from the opening notes of Haydn's Op. 50, No. 3, with its polish and elegance. (…) First Prize went to Arcadia, (…) on the strength of its coruscating account of Beethoven's Op. 131."
(Robert Markow)
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Grosse Kontraste
2014-05-01 Fono Forum Magazine,
"The Romanian ensemble lives through the emotional eruptions in Janácek's music with heart and soul (…) Sensual ecstasis, romantic rave and existential fear collide unreservedly; every accent is a stich into the heart…"
(Marcus Stäbler)
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Janáček Quartets
2013-12-01 BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013,
"Not only do both Quartets set formidable technical challenges, they require astonishing emotional commitment and dramatic timing...the Romanian Arcadia Quartet certainly have the measure of the dramatic aspects of these remarkable works."
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2013-11-13 The Listenier,
"Whoever is looking for a new reference recording should consider this one. (...) For me, the Arcadia Quartet is – at least concerning Janáček – the cutting edge currently among European interpreters……Outstanding!"
(Rainer Aschemeier)
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Young Romanians record Janáček's two quartets
2013-11-01 Gramophone Magazine,
"They are not afraid to take matters to the extremes which Janáček invites [...] ... a bold but thoughtful performance of the two remarkable works. They are strenuous performances...The recording is vivid and immediate."
(John Warrack)
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2013-09-29 The Sunday Times,
"Each fresh hearing of Janacek's quartets is a shock - as if his researches into what he called "the melody of speech" resulted in a totally new kind of music...Both works are played with searing intensity by the fine young Romanian quartet."
(David Cairns)
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