In Search of the Perfect Acoustics

The Aris Quartet takes a musical stroll through the Elbphilharmonie. A film documentary by Marcus Richardt.

They aren't even 30 yet, and they have already been playing together for ten years: the Aris Quartet from Frankfurt is one of the most exciting young string quartets in the classical-music world. They have making music together since their late teens, and have now been nominated as »Rising Stars« by the Elbphilharmonie and the Konzerthaus Dortmund. In this context, they are appearing in the 2020/21 season in some of Europe's leading concert halls.

The Experiment

Before embarking on their concert tour, the quartet had a three-day residency at the Elbphilharmonie in August 2020 – an opportunity to try out a unique experiment: concert programmes are normally planned to suit the location , but in this case the entire Elbphilharmonie was placed at the four musicians' disposal so that they could find the ideal place for their performance of György Kurtág's String Quartet  op. 28.

This experience served as the basis for a film documentary that accompanied the quartet on its search for the perfect acoustics, which took them from the underground car park to the roof of the Elbphilharmonie.

Film: In Search of the Perfect Acoustics :English subtitles available. Click on the video settings to activate

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The Aris Quartet's residency at the Elbphilharmonie :11–13 August 2020

Parkhaus Elbphilharmonie

Day 1 : Filming in the building

Things got off to an intensive start: on the first day of the residency, every corner of the Elbphilharmonie was explored, the acoustics were tested and impressions shared. Film director Marcus Richardt and his team accompanied the process.

Day 1 : Recording the education podcast

Music education forms an important part of the quartet's work, and during their »Rising Stars« tour the Aris Quartet gives workshops, meeting school students and young musicians. The first item on the agenda is a podcast for and with children in the Elbphilharmonie's Kaistudio.

Listen to the podcast (in German)

Day 2 : Recording the promotion video

How did the quartet come into being? What do the four Frankfurt musicians expect from their European tour? The Aris Quartet introduces itself in a video.

Watch the video

Day 2 : A talk with composer Misato Mochizuki

Japanese composer Misato Mochizuki wrote a work for the quartet for the »Rising Stars« tour. In the Elbphilharmonie the members of the quartet discuss the work with her for the first time via a live feed from Tokyo.

Day 2 : Photo call

New pictures for the upcoming concert season are taken in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt.

Day 3 : Recording of György Kurtág’s String Quartet op. 28

The big day has arrived: once they have found the ideal recording location, the four musicians record the Kurtág quartet that they have already spent so long rehearsing. The recording will be released in the next few months.

The Aris Quartet

  • 2009: Founded at the Frankfurter Musikhochschule
  • 2016: Second prize at the ARD International Music Competition, also audience prize, Osnabrück Music Prize, Special Prize ProQuartet and Special Prize Genuin Classics
  • 2018: BBC »New Generation Artists«
  • 2020: Release of their fourth album (Shostakovich / Schubert)
  • 2020/21: »Rising Stars« of the European Concert Hall Organisation

Anna Katharina Wildermuth violin
Noémi Zipperling violin
Caspar Vinzens viola
Lukas Sieber violoncello

Text: Anne-Elisabeth Lesseur / Laura Etspüler, last updated 08 October 2020

Sponsored by Classical Futures Europe and the European Union programme Creative Europe.

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