Lingua disponibile: ingleseThe Kitgut Quartet specializes in the early history and the antecedents of the string quartet genre. The group uses historical performance techniques and materials, including the catgut strings that give the quartet its name. The Kitgut Quartet was formed in 2015 by a multinational group consisting of violinists Amandine Beyer and Naaman Sluchin, violist Josèphe Cottet, and cellist Frédéric Baldassare. The name "Kitgut" is an old term for "catgut" (for which cat intestines are not employed, but rather those of sheep, goats, or other animals), also possibly deriving from "kit," an old Welsh term for a fiddle. The group follows historical performance principles, including the use of catgut strings. Beyer was a student of Baroque violinist Chiara Banchini and a musicologist who has written about the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen. Sluchin has played both modern and Baroque violin; he is a graduate of the Baroque violin program at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland. An experienced chamber player, he has performed with the Diotima Quartet and other chamber groups. Cottet has likewise had a varied background in chamber music, performing with the Pygmalion Ensemble, Correspondances, and Les Musiciens du Paradis, among other groups. Baldassare studied both modern and Baroque cello at French universities. He has performed with early music groups, including Le Concert d'Astrée, Les Arts Florissants, and Les Nouveaux Caractères, as well as the contemporary Ensemble 2e2m. The diverse group was signed to the French firm l'Agence Management and soon began to find bookings. They performed at the AMUZ music center in Antwerp, Belgium, playing a Haydn-Schubert program, but they soon became interested in the existence and development of purely instrumental four-part compositions in Europe prior to the emergence of the string quartet in the middle 18th century. They developed programs around the themes Schubert and Germany, Mozart and Italy, Beethoven and France, and Haydn and England. The last of these became the focus of the quartet's debut release, 'Tis Too Late to Be Wise, released in January of 2020 on the Harmonia Mundi label. The album featured four-part works by Haydn, Purcell, Matthew Locke, and John Blow.
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