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Quatuor Diotima

Specializing in 20th century and contemporary music, the Quatuor Diotima is among France's most in-demand string quartets. The group has commissioned and performed many new works. The Quatuor Diotima was formed in 1996 by graduates of top conservatories in Paris and Lyon. The current members are violinists Yun-Peng Zhao and Léo Marillier, violist Franck Chevalier, and cellist Pierre Morlet. The group tends to use the French name Quatuor Diotima even in anglophone contexts. The name carries overtones in both the Romantic era -- Diotima was the name of a heroine in a novel by Friedrich Hölderlin -- and in the contemporary, from Luigi Nono's composition Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima. The new quartet made an impact with several international competition victories, and it made its recording debut in 2003, joining clarinetist Carol Robinson in Morton Feldman's Clarinet and String Quartet on the album Morton Feldman: Late Works for Clarinet. The Quatuor Diotima made its first solo recordings in 2008, issuing performances of quartets by Leoš Janáček and Lucien Durosoir on a pair of albums on the Alpha label. The group recorded the album Thomas Larchner: Madhares for ECM in 2010 before moving to Naïve the following year for an album of quartets by Berg, Webern, and Schoenberg. The quartet continued to record for Naïve into the early 2020s. In addition to numerous appearances in Europe, the Quatuor Diotima has toured the U.S., South America, Asia, and Australia, appearing in a list of prestigious venues that in the early 2020s included the Cologne Philharmonie, the Elbphilarhmonie in Hamburg, and the Konzerthaus in Berlin. The Quatuor Diotima focuses on contemporary music, but its repertory stretches as far back as Beethoven and Haydn; often, programs are structured so as to cast new light on traditional repertory by presenting it with contemporary works. The quartet has commissioned new works from such composers as Toshio Hosokawa, Alberto Posadas, and Gérard Pesson. Naïve issued the Quatuor Diotima's complete recording of Bartók's string quartets in 2019. That year, the quartet began a stint as the first quartet-in-residence at Radio France. In 2023, the Quatuor Diotima moved to the PentaTone label, recording the album Metamorphosis Ligeti to mark the 100th anniversary of Ligeti's birth. The quartet is active in educational contexts and has served as Associate Artist at the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy and as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Chicago. The group has given master classes at the University of California in Los Angeles, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, the Casa del Quartetto in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and York University in the U.K.
© James Manheim /TiVo


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