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Quatuor Manfred

Based in Dijon, France's Quatuor Manfred, or Manfred Quartet, is notable for adventurous programming that has included jazz and pop collaborations. Comprising violinists Marie Béreau and Luigi Vecchioni, violist Emmanuel Haratyk, and cellist Christian Wolff, the quartet has had an international orientation since its founding in 1986. The group's members were trained at various institutions, including New York's Juilliard School and the Geneva Conservatory, and in their first years they entered competitions both inside and outside France, and became the first European quartet to win the top prize at Canada's Banff Competition. That led to collaborations with A-list musicians including Yuri Bashmet, Mstislav Rostropovich, Manuel Fischer-Dieskau, Marc Coppey, and many others, and to a recording contract with the label Disques Pierre Verany. They released their debut album, featuring the first two string quartets of Prokofiev, in 1991 and issued several more albums of 19th and 20th century repertory before moving to Opus Millésime and then to Zig Zag Territoires, where they issued a program of quartets by Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg in 2005, and an unusual program mixing (and mashing) music of Bach and John Coltrane two years later. Quatuor Manfred moved to Harmonia Mundi in 2017 and issued (with singer Marion Rampal and jazz saxophonist Raphaël Imbert) Bye Bye Berlin, an album devoted to the menaced 1930s Berlin scene and including classical music, film music, and cabaret song. They also appeared on Imbert's crossover album Heavens: Amadeus and the Duke. In Dijon, Quatuor Manfred operates its own chamber music series aimed at allowing listeners to discover the landmarks of the quartet repertory in accessible presentations. The group's 30th anniversary in 2017 was marked with the dedication of a new work by composer Florence Baschet, Cycle for string quartet, and they have commissioned and performed several other new works.
© James Manheim /TiVo


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