String quartets by Janáček, Beamish and Schumann

This concert has already taken place! 12 | 22 | 34 | 49
This concert has already taken place! 12 | 22 | 34 | 49
Meta4 © Tero Ahonen

Musical declarations of love

In the words of French writer Victor Hugo: »Music expresses what cannot be said, and what it’s impossible not to say.« Taking this as his motto, the Czech composer Leoš Janáček created a musical declaration of love that he couldn’t have couched better in words, in the shape of his String Quartet No. 2. In this »intimate letter« he »expressed his most tender desire in music«, and adding to the addressee: »Just like you, alternating between tears and laughter, that’s how my quartet sounds.«

Robert Schumann was likewise a master of feelings, and he didn’t only express these in his Romantic songs and symphonies: this much is proved by the three string quartets that he wrote in 1842. With the first of these, the Quartet in A minor, he gave his wife Clara a special present: the first performance was given on her 23rd birthday. 176 years later, this loving gesture inspired British composer Sally Beamish to write her Fourth String Quartet, in which she quotes several of Schumann’s melodies.

After their previous appearance at the Elbphilharmonie in 2018, the Echo-winning Finnish string quartet Meta4 returns to Hamburg’s concert hall on the Elbe river.



Antti Tikkanen violin
Minna Pensola violin
Atte Kilpeläinen viola
Tomas Djupsjöbacka violoncello


Leoš Janáček
String Quartet No. 2 »Intimate Letters«

Sally Beamish
String Quartet No. 4 »Nine Fragments«

– Interval –

Robert Schumann
String Quartet in A minor, Op. 41/1

Pre-Concert Talk

with Oliver Wille (in German)

18:30 / Elbphilharmonie, Kleiner Saal

Estimated end time

approx. 21:15


String Quartets

Promoter: HamburgMusik

Supported by Stiftung Elbphilharmonie

During your visit

Elbphilharmonie Plaza

A public viewing platform on the 8th floor of the Elbphilharmonie

More about the Plaza

Food and Drink

Before the concert and in the interval

Find out more

Coughing, clapping, chatting

Tips for your concert visit

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