Graffe String Quartet

undefinedRanking today among the best Czech quartets of the younger generation, was founded in 1997. Already during the studies of its members at the Brno Conservatory and at the Music Faculty of the Janaček Academy of Performing Arts, they won several prizes from international competitions (International Interpretational Competition Beethovenuv Hradec, Czech Republic, 1999; International Chamber Ensemble Competition ACT, London, 2003; International Competition "Verfemte Musik", Schwerin, Germany, 2005). For their performance of Leos Janacek‘s quartets, they have been twice rewarded by the Leos Janacek Foundation Prize (2001, 2003). In 2005, they were honored by a special prize from the French association Forum Voix Etouffés.

Since the academic studies of the Graffe Quartet members, their artistic growth has been supported e.g. by Prof. Adolf Sykora (The Janacek Quartet) and, recently, also by Prof. Jerry Horner (the famous Fine Arts Quartet, USA). The quartet participated repeatedly in several international chamber music courses, where they had an opportunity to be tutored by such distinguished artists as Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartett, Vienna), Norbert Brainin and Siegmund Nissel (Amadeus Quartet, London), László Mezö (Bartók Quartet, Budapest), Milan Škampa (Smetanovo kvarteto, Prague) and others.

The Graffe Quartet appeared at hundreds of concerts in their homeland, in many European countries and in the USA. The ensemble‘s recordings have been obtained by several broadcasting companies in Europe and America. At their concerts the ensemble has performed the classical quartet repertoire as well as many world premieres of contemporary Czech and world composers (e.g. M. Štědroň, M. Slimáček, W. Schulze, H. Neumann, Páll P. Pálsson etc.).

Critics have often praised the youthful freshness, temperament, expression and interpretative maturity of the Graffe Quartet. Music Web International wrote: "The playing is amongst the sheerly beautfiul I have heard from any strings quartet", and Charleston Gazette exclaimed: "As thrilling music-making as I've heard this year... the Graffe's performance was stunning."

Chamber music interpretation courses

Brno 19. 7. - 26. 7. 2014

The courses are open to any professional or amateur musician, regardless of age. For those who want to improve their interpretational skills in string chamber music. A complete chamber ensemble of any instrumental composition (including strings) can also participate. During the whole course time, the participants will work under the guidance of the Graffe Quartet members. The courses are destined to both complete ensembles and individuals. The individual´s programmes will be fixed in a sufficient advance, according to the composition of the participant´s instruments. The lections will take place daily from 19. 7. to 25. 7. 2014 at the‘ Divadlo na Orlí‘ theater studio (Music and Drama Laboratory, Janáček Academy of Musical Arts), 3:00 to 6:00 PM. Every participant will be given (as a chamber ensemble member) 7 public 60-minute lessons. A gala-presentation of all participants of the ProArt festival will take place on 26. 7. 2014.

A recommendation to young ensembles with professional ambition: A previous study of Czech works, with an accent to Bohuslav Martinů and Leoš Janáček compositions. A recommendation to amateur quartets and individuals: A previous study of Czech Classicism authors (texts can be provided in advance if requested).

Lectors: the Graffe Quartet members - Štěpán Graffe, Lukáš Bednařík, Lukáš Cybulski, Michal Hreňo