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Formed in 2005, the Galatea Quartet consists of siblings Sarah and Julien Kilchenmann, Yuka Tsuboi and Hugo Bollschweiler. The quartet’s studies in Zurich with Stephan Görner of the Carmina Quartet and in Berlin with the Artemis Quartet were the basis of its formative early years. The group’s members soon became fellows of the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) and maintain a fruitful relationship with its founder Hatto Beyerle to this day. Competition successes soon followed: prizes include the Concours de Genève in 2006, Migros Kammermusikwettbewerb Zurich in 2007, the International Chamber Music Competition Osaka in 2008 and the String Quartet Competition Bordeaux in 2010. The quartet embarked on concert tours spanning Europe (Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Tonhalle Zurich), Japan, Argentina, Canada, Israel and India and have been guests at some of the most important festivals including the Società del Quartetto Milano, Festival de Sion, EuroArt Prague, Festival Pablo Casals, Festspiele and Tage für neue Musik Zürich.
The ensemble’s debut album ‘Bloch: Landscapes-Music for String Quartet’ was released in 2011 by Sony Classical featuring works of the Swiss-American composer Ernest Bloch. The increased exposure led to international acclaim for the Galatea Quartet: in 2012 the ECHO Prize for Best Chamber Music Album (20th /21st century) was bestowed upon the group, shortly followed by the Kulturförderpreis of the Canton of Zurich in 2013. A much-anticipated sophomore album was released by Sony Classical in March 2014 with works from the Belle Epoque by Debussy, Menu and Milhaud. Besides the standard classical repertoire, entering new territory with innovative genre-crossing concepts plays an important role for the quartet, as evidenced by collaborations with Isabel Mundry and Helmut Lachenmann. Premieres of works by Martin Derungs, Hans-Ulrich Lehmann, Heinz Marti, Peter Wettstein, Martin Schlumpf and Rodolphe Schacher attest to a deep commitment to contemporary Swiss composers. Crossover projects are a staple, having lead to collaborations with Finnish jazz pianist Iiro Rantala, American composer Laurie Altman, Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Tina Turner, chansonier Tim Fischer and the author Urs Faes, as well as a performance series of the Pink Floyd adaptation “To the Dark Side of the Moon”. This unconventional and varied approach continues into the classical-romantic repertoire, where lesser-known works stand alongside mainstays of the quartet literature. This love of adventure is contagious and has been met by overwhelmingly positive responses from audiences and colleagues alike. “Tango”, the latest musical jewel from the Galatea Quartet reiterates this curiosity to expand horizons beyond the mainstream.