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“Ébène Quartet Academy” - new string quartet class at HMTM

Photo: Julien Mignot

“Ébène Quartet Academy”: Quatuor Ébène establishes string quartet class at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.

 

Extensive chamber music program at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich (HMTM) with the engagement of the internationally acclaimed Quatuor Ébène and the appointment of renowned chamber music teacher Eberhard Feltz as “Visiting Professor”.

 

Quatuor Ébène, one of the most prominent string quartets in the world, will assume immediate responsibility for establishing a string quartet class at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich (HMTM) as part of the newly founded “Ébène Quartet Academy”. In addition to this program, the University was able to secure the legendary chamber musician and driving force behind countless world-renowned string quartets, Prof. Eberhard Feltz, as “Visiting Professor”. With this step, an outstanding center for chamber music education is established at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. For the Quatuor Ébène, this Munich appointment is a return on two fronts: it was here in 2004 that the ensemble won 1st prize at the ARD International Music Competition, and it also enables the quartet to work alongside their formative mentor, Eberhard Feltz.

 

Ever since the autumn of 2015 that saw Dirk Mommertz (pianist with the Fauré Quartet, considered one of the world's leading piano quartets) appointed as Professor of chamber music, the HMTM has been steadily building up its successful chamber music education program. Major international prizes have consistently been awarded to Munich chamber music students, including prizes at the 2018 ARD Music Competition to the Aoi Trio (1st prize), the Lux Trio (3rd prize) and Diyang Mei (viola, 1st prize), and the Goldmund Quartet's 1st prize at the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.

 

Prof. Dirk Mommertz assumes responsibility for the reorganization and continuing development of the chamber music department at the HMTM. He is supported by other faculty members at the University and, since the autumn of 2020, by Raphaël Merlin, cellist of the Quatuor Ébène, as Professor of string chamber music. With all members of Quatuor Ébène, the new chamber music program “Ébène Quartet Academy” will be established, which will, among other courses for string players, offer space for selected string quartets in the Masters program starting in the winter semester of 2021/22.

 

Prof. Dr. Bernd Redmann, President of the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, is extremely pleased about this further advancement: “In recent years, general public appreciation of chamber music has been growing steadily - and with the appointment of Quatuor Ébène and Eberhard Feltz, Munich will further strengthen its standing as a center for chamber music. It is a major win for our current and future students.”

 

Vice President Prof. Dirk Mommertz is also eagerly embracing the collaboration: “This is a very happy moment for the Munich University. It is a wonderful and inspiring prospect for the evolution of chamber music!”

 

The Quatuor Ébène musicians state: “Our career as a young string quartet took off at the ARD Music Competition in Munich. So we are all the more pleased to return here and pass on our experience to the students. We are quite certain that teaching will also have a positive effect on our ensemble work within the quartet.”

 

With its charismatic performance style, fresh approach to traditions and open-minded exploration of new formats, Quatuor Ébène succeeds in attracting a wide, but also younger, audience. In 2004, Quatuor Ébène's success began with the 1st prize at the ARD Music Competition, leading to numerous other prizes and awards. The four musicians celebrated their 20th year on stage with the complete recording of Beethoven's string quartets in the 2019/2020 season, which culminated in performances of the complete string quartet cycle in major halls in Europe, such as the Philharmonie de Paris and the Alte Oper Frankfurt.

 

Prof. Eberhard Feltz studied in Berlin and St. Petersburg and has been teaching at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin since 1963 to the present as e.g. Professor of violin and chamber music. Eberhard Feltz is an internationally sought-after teacher of chamber music masterclasses and a long-time mentor of renowned quartets, including the Ébène, Vogler, Kuss, Schumann, Faust, Rubens, Atrium and Calder Quartets.

 

The University of Music and Performing Arts Munich is one of the most important and multifaceted educational institutions for music, dance and theater professions in Europe. At five different locations across Munich, around 1,300 students are taught in approximately 100 degree programs for a wide range of artistic and pedagogical professions. Around 500 teachers – many of them with international reputations – contribute to the worldwide standing of the music, dance and theater program at the HMTM. The range of degree programs extends from orchestral and keyboard instruments, through jazz, film composition and folk music up to cultural management. In addition, the school provides a significant contribution to Munich's rich cultural life with around 900 events per year.

 

In the department of chamber music for piano and string instruments at the HMTM, Prof. Dirk Mommertz (Director) is currently joined by artists Prof. Silke Avenhaus (piano) and Prof. Priya Mitchell (violin), among others. In addition to the string quartet program, a professorship for woodwind chamber music is also currently underway.

 

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