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Tully Potter

String quartet. It was founded in Budapest in 1909 by Imre Waldbauer (b Budapest, 13 April 1892; d Iowa City, 3 Dec 1953), János Temesváry (b Szamosújvár, 12 Dec 1891; d Budapest, 8 Nov 1964), the composer and musicologist Antal Molnár (b Budapest, 7 Jan 1890; d Budapest, 7 Dec 1983) and Jenő Kerpely (b Budapest, 1 Dec 1885; d Los Angeles, 1954). Known locally as the Waldbauer-Kerpely Quartet, it had some 100 rehearsals before giving the premières of the first quartets of Kodály and Bartók in Budapest on 17 and 19 March 1910. Later that year Debussy’s Quartet was performed with the composer present (his only Budapest concert) and in 1911 the ensemble toured the Netherlands. In 1912 Molnár was replaced on viola by another musicologist, Egon Kornstein (b Nagyszalonta, 22 May 1891; d Paris, 3 Dec 1987). The Hungarian Quartet became its country’s leading chamber ensemble, performing the standard repertory as well as introducing home audiences to a wide range of new music. Its other premières included Bartók’s Second, Third and Fourth Quartets and Kodály’s Second. After ...


Ian Mikyska

(b Olomouc, 3 May 1967). Czech violinist. Raised in a musical family, she studied at the People’s School of Art in Opava with Marcela Kuvíková, then at the Ostrava Conservatory with Vítězslav Kuzník and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) with the professors Jiří Vlach, Jiří Novák, and Ivan Štraus. She also took part in master classes with Josef Gingold in Greensboro, NC and with Wolfgang Marschner in Weimar. In 1990 she received a scholarship to the International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland, where she studied with Alberto Lysy.

In 1997, she became a laureate of the Prague Spring International Violin Competition. She has also received the Gideon Klein Prize, the Bärenreiter Prize, the Supraphon Prize, the Prize of the City of Prague, and the Prague Spring Foundation Prize. In 2005 she represented the Czech Republic at the World Exhibition in Aichi, Japan, together with the Prague Philharmonic....


Richard Wigmore

German string quartet. It was founded in 1988 by Andreas Seidel and Tilman Büning (violins), Ivo Bauer (viola) and Matthias Moosdorf (cello). Seidel, Büning and Bauer were section leaders in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, who in 1991 gave up their positions to devote themselves full-time to the quartet. In its early years the group studied with Gerhard Bosse, the Amadeus Quartet, Hatto Beyerle and Walter Levin, and won several prizes, including the Busch and Siemens (1991 and 1992). One of the most versatile and technically accomplished of quartets, the Leipzig String Quartet is renowned both for its performances of the Austro-German Classical and Romantic repertory, and for its dedication to contemporary music. In 1991 it initiated its own annual concert series, ‘Pro Quatuor’, at the Gewandhaus, in which it has given the world premières of works by Furrer, Ofenbauer, Rihm, Schleiermacher, Jörg Widmann and others. The group also plays as part of the larger Leipzig-based Ensemble Avantgarde. It has toured extensively in Europe, Africa, Central and South America, Australia, Japan and South-East Asia, including appearances at many of the major festivals. Among its recordings, many of which have won international awards, are the complete quartets of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn (a cycle unsurpassed for its mingled fire and grace), Brahms, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Eisler, and works by Hindemith, Weill, Cage and Berio....


Claire Levy

(b Plovdiv, 19 Dec 1937). Bulgarian composer, pianist, conductor, arranger, and bandleader. He was internationally acknowledged for his innovative ideas, cross-cultural experiments, and contribution to the concept of fusion and free improvisation. Classically trained at the Bulgarian State Conservatory (1955–60) under Pancho Vladigerov (composition) and Andrey Stoyanov (piano), he is the author of numerous compositions in styles and genres including jazz, pop, symphony, chamber, film, and theatrical music. He conducted the Radio and Television Big Band in Sofia (1962–6) and led his own avant-garde quartet, Jazz Focus’65 (1965–8), which won the Critic’s Prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967. In 1970 he left Bulgaria for political reasons and moved to the USA where he joined the Don Ellis Orchestra (1971–8), and later collaborated with the classical/jazz quartet Free Flight. He also played with outstanding jazz musicians including Art Pepper, Billy Cobham, and Dave Holland, among many others....