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Aleix Palau | 16 September 2020

L’Auditori de Barcelona opens the season with the first International Quartet Biennale

Cuarteto Casals headlines a completely new event in Barcelona featuring both new and well-‎established ensembles. Four days, eight string quartets, 22 works (19 of them live and three ‎online) and eight live concerts to share Haydn’s music, world premieres and Catalonia’s ‎musical heritage.‎
The evening concerts will be streamed on the Auditori Digital platform, where they can be ‎watched free of charge.‎

L’Auditori de Barcelona opens the season with the first International Quartet Biennale

L’Auditori de Barcelona’s 2020-21 season starts with the first Barcelona International ‎Quartet Biennale, which will take place from 17 to 20 September. The initiative is ‎co-curated by Cuarteto Casals with L’Auditori de Barcelona, sponsored by the Department of ‎Culture and Barcelona Provincial Council and staged in collaboration with Institut Ramon Llull ‎and L’Atlàntida in Vic.‎

The International Quartet Biennale is a four-day event featuring some of ‎today’s leading ensembles. The Casals, Modigliani, Marmen, Cosmos, Diotima and ‎Dalia quartets will take part in a programme which, in addition to focusing on ‎‎Franz Joseph Haydn as one of the main pillars of this genre, will also ‎feature works by acclaimed composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy and ‎Dmitri Shostakovich, among others.‎

The event organised by L’Auditori de Barcelona will feature eight live ‎concerts – four in the morning and four in the evening – with 19 works for ‎string quartet performed by six different ensembles and ‎includes two world premieres. The morning concerts will be held in Hall 4, ‎Alicia de Larrocha and will be fully devoted to Haydn’s quartets. The evening concerts, on the ‎other hand, will be held in L’Auditori de Barcelona’s Hall 2, Oriol Martorell. ‎

These performances will be supplemented by online content, such as the world ‎premiere of a work by Hèctor Parra dedicated to Robert Gerhard, and performed ‎by the JACK Quartet; thenational premiere of a work by Peteris ‎Vasks performed by the Artemis Quartet; and a video of ‎‎Cuarteto Casals performing music by Toldrà.‎

World premieres and Catalonia’s musical heritage
L’Auditori de Barcelona’s 2020-2021 season marks the start of a new three-year artistic ‎project that will start by exploring the concept of The Creation from different perspectives. A ‎significant part of this great journey will consist of commissions for new works and ‎performances of Catalonia’s musical heritage. In view of this, the Biennale will ‎feature both world and national premieres, some of them inspired by ‎past works. Quatuor Diotima will perform the world premiere of Luis Codera ‎Puzo’s Code is poetry. The Dalia Quartet, for its part, will perform for ‎the first time Josep Soler’s String Quartet No. 8 on a theme by ‎Cristóbal de Morales.‎

Catalonia’s musical heritage will also play a prominent role, with music by ‎some of our most representative composers, such as Robert Gerhard ‎‎(this year is the 50th anniversary of his death) and Jordi Cervelló, as well as ‎the above-mentioned Josep Soler. The new generation of Catalan creators will be ‎represented by one of our most international creators: the composer Raquel ‎García-Tomás.‎

You will find the images of the quartets for download in thepress area of L’Auditori ‎de Barcelona’s website.‎

The Biennale, streamed online
The Quartet Biennale will be streamed online on the Auditori ‎Digital platform ( ‎To access the content, users must register for free from the afternoon of ‎Wednesday, 16 September. They will then be able to watch all afternoon concerts ‎live. ‎

In addition to the free Biennale concerts, members of the public will be able to enjoy three ‎completely new bonus performances. The Artemis Quartet, which was to ‎perform at the Biennale in person but will now be unable to do so due to the quarantine ‎restrictions, will be taking part online with the national premiere of a work by ‎Peteris Vasks. This will be available to watch on Auditori Digital.‎

The world premiere of the JACK Quartet’s performance of a work by ‎‎Hèctor Parra dedicated by the Catalan composer to Robert Gerhard will ‎likewise be streamed on the same platform. ‎

The third bonus content is a video of Cuarteto Casals performing Eduard ‎Toldrà’s Vistes al mar nocturne for quartet in the grounds of ‎‎La Vila, a venue in the Vall de Bianya region managed by the prestigious ‎Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm RCR. The video is recorded in ‎‎360º and with immersive sound technology.‎

Masterclass and Professional Workshop for Chamber Ensembles
The Barcelona International Quartet Biennale seeks to use the participating artists’ potential ‎to provide a source of knowledge for other musicians. With this in mind, a ‎‎masterclass with Heime Müller will be held at the Escola Superior de Música de ‎Catalunya on 19 and 20 September.‎

Violinist Heime Müller, a professor at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid, has been a ‎member of the Artemis Quartet for 16 years. On Saturday, 19 September, from 4.30 pm to ‎‎6.30 pm, he will teach a masterclass with the Cosmos Quartet; and on Sunday, 20 September, ‎from 10 am to 12 noon, he will teach another with the Atenea Quartet. ‎

On 6 October, L’Atlàntida performing arts centre in Vic ‎will host the first Professional Workshop for Chamber Ensembles, is ‎organised by the Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises – Catalan Arts in partnership with ‎Institut Ramon Llull, Cuarteto Casals and L’Atlàntida.‎

The aim of the event is to help promote Catalonia’s chamber ensembles, putting them in ‎contact with people in charge of scheduling and other professionals in the world of classical ‎music.‎

Attendees will have the opportunity to witness performances by the Kebyart ‎Ensemble, Quartet Atenea, Duo Sosnowska-Garcías and Trio Pedrell.‎

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