Quatuor Mosaïques is the most prominent period-instrument quartet performing today. The ensemble has garnered praise for its atypical decision to use gut-stringed instruments which, in combination with its celebrated musicianship, has cultivated their unique sound. The quartet has toured extensively, won numerous prizes and established a substantial discography. Formed in 1985, the group is comprised of Austrians Erich Höbarth (violin), Andrea Bischof (violin), Anita Mitterer (viola) and French cellist Christophe Coin. Quatuor has appeared in Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan and regularly performs in Vienna, London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall. Quatuor Mosaïques is often featured at such prestigious European festivals as Edinburgh, Salzburg, Luzern, Bremen, Bath, Styriarte Graz, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and Oslo, among others. The ensemble collaborates regularly with many international artists including pianists Sir András Schiff and Patrick Cohen, clarinetists Wolfgang Meyer and Sabine Meyer, and cellists Miklós Perényi and Raphael Pidoux. In 2006 Quatuor Mosaïques was invited to Spain to perform for King Juan Carlos I on the Monarch’s personal collection of Stradivari instruments.
In the fall of 2014 Quatuor Mosaïques tours North America, visiting Philadelphia, New York, Houston, Vancouver, Ottawa, San Diego, Sonoma and Orange County, CA, performing works of Haydn, Schumann, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Of its engagement at Carnegie Hall in 2009, The New York Times noted that the group performed with “elegant, detailed phrasing and carefully wrought playing.” During a North American tour in 2012, The Philadelphia Inquirer raved “the group does tap into something well beyond notes and rests. No doubt this is what people mean when they talk about music casting a spell.” European engagements this season include a four-concert residency with Wiener Konzerthaus and performances at the Haydn String Quartet Festival in Eszteráza, Hungary. During summer 2015 Quatuor Mosaïques gives two concerts at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK) and Wigmore Hall.
Quatuor Mosaïques has an extraordinarily extensive discography which includes works of Haydn, Mozart, Arriaga, Boccherini, Jadin, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn as well as modern composers. Of the group’s 2010 Schubert release The London Times wrote “their performance of Death and the Maiden is music-making of a high order, felt and carried out by players animated as though by a single mind and impulse, yet each of them seeming to respond afresh at every moment.” Recordings of the Wiener Klassik repertoire (Haydn string quartets Op. 20, 33 and 77 and the quartets of Mozart dedicated to Haydn) have been awarded numerous prizes such as the Diapason d’or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, and a Gramophone Award.
These four musicians met while performing with Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus Wien in the 1980s and decided to perform on original instruments as a classical “caper quartet.” Although the quartet performs on period instruments it embraces the European quartet tradition, constantly allowing for the evolution of its repertoire as it strives to reveal the music’s psychological underpinnings.