"This Warsaw foursome has superb technical control, innate musicality and an extraordinary sense of ensemble. Couple that with a deep understanding of their repertoire and an involvement that communicates itself electrifyingly to an audience, and the Szymanowski Quartet bears the hallmark of greatness.” ( Paul Cutts in „The Strad”)
Founded in Warsaw in 1995, the Szymanowski Quartet has developed into one of the most exceptional international string quartets of its generation. Their sophisticated programs present a perfect balance between intellect and passion, characteristics that have captivated audiences at festivals and concert halls throughout Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australia.
The ensemble performs throughout the world in major concert halls: New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Vienna’s Musikverein, the Konzerthaus in Berlin and Shanghai Symphony Hall.. The Szymanowski Quartet is a regular guest at prominent international festivals including Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau, "Schubertiade" and Schwetzingen as well as Lockenhaus, Paris, London, Warsaw, Moscow, Cheltenham, Basel, Bath, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver and Perth.
In 2008 the SQ founded the Lviv Chamber Music Festival at the UNESCO World Heritage site on the border between the Ukraine and Poland.
The Szymanowski Quartet has received numerous prizes and distinctions for its extraordinarily high standards. The quartet has won prizes and awards from major international competitions including those in Melbourne, Hanover, Osaka and Florence. In 2005 the Karol Szymanowski Foundation in Warsaw bestowed on them the Szymanowski Award, the first time this award was given to a string quartet. In 2007, the Polish government awarded them a Medal of Honour for services to Polish culture.
From 2001 to 2003 the Quartet participated in the “New Generation Artists Scheme” of BBC Radio 3 in London.
The Quartet studied with Hatto Beyerle at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover. They have received further important impulses from Isaac Stern, Walter Levin, the Amadeus- and Emerson- , the Juilliard- and the Guarneri Quartets.
In 2017 the Szymanowski Quartet presents two new recordings:
the Piano quintet of Dmitri Shostakovich with Michail Lifits for Decca Records and „Les Vendredis“, a collection of 16 miniatures for string quartet from Belaiev's legendary Fridays with the guest composers and friends: N.Rimsky-Korsakov, A.Borodin, A.Liadov, A.Glazunov and many others, released on SWR Classic.
Between 2009 and 2015 the Quartet launched the recording series of 3 CD's by Cavi-music record label, focusing on composer Karol Szymanowski in the context of the music capitals Paris, Vienna and Moscow.
Along with standard classical-romantic repertoire, the Szymanowski Quartet’s strong commitment to contemporary music includes music by Krzysztof Penderecki, Sofia Gubaidulina, Magnus Lindberg, Myroslav Skoryk and other composers, several of whom dedicated their works to the Quartet.