Founded in Warsaw in 1995, the Szymanowski Quartet has developed into one of the most exceptional international string quartets of its generation. Their sophisticated programs present a perfect balance between intellect and passion, characteristics that have captivated audiences at festivals and concert halls throughout Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australia.
The Szymanowski Quartet has received numerous prizes and distinctions for its extraordinarily high standards. They were prizewinners at both the Osaka and the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competitions and won first prizes at the “Premio Vittorio Gui” Competition in Florence and at Hanover’s “In Memoriam Dimitri Schostakowitsch” Competition. From 2001-2003 the Quartet participated in the “New Generation Artists Scheme” of BBC Radio 3 in London. In 2005 they received the “Szymanowski Award” of the Karol Szymanowski Foundation in Warsaw, the first time given to a string quartet, and the Polish government awarded them the Medal of Honor for service to Polish culture in 2007.
The ensemble performs throughout the world in major concert halls: New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Vienna’s Musikverein, the Konzerthaus in Berlin and Shanghai Symphony Hall. Their annual North American tours have included concerts in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver and Montreal. The ensemble is a regular guest at prominent international festivals including Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau, "Schubertiade" and Schwetzingen as well Lockenhaus, Luxemburg, Paris, London, Warsaw, Moscow, Cheltenham, Basel, Bath and Perth. In 2008 the SQ founded the Lviv Chamber Music Festival at the UNESCO World Heritage site on the border between the Ukraine and Poland.
The Szymanowski Quartet studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover with teacher and mentor Hatto Beyerle. Further study has been with Isaac Stern, Walter Levin and the Amadeus, Emerson, Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets. In 2017 the Szymanowski Quartet will present two new recordings: „Les Vendredis“ to be released by SWR Music and the piano quintet of Dmitri Shostakovich with Michail Lifits by Decca.
The Avie label has released a CD of Haydn, Bacewicz and Dvo!ák. In 2009/15 the Quartet launched the Recording series of 3 CD's by Cavi-music record label, focusing on composer Karol Szymanowski in the context of the music capitals Paris, Vienna and Moscow. Recent recordings include the Weinberg Piano Quintet for Hänssler Classic and music of Zelenski / Zarebski and Friedman / Rózycki released on Hyperion in 2012 and 2016.
Along with standard classical-romantic repertoire, the SQ’s strong commitment to contemporary music includes music by Krzysztof Penderecki, Sofia Gubaidulina, Magnus Lindberg, Matan Daniel Porat and other composers, several of whom dedicated their works to the Quartet.