Competitors 2017

The competing string quartets of the Orlando Competition: 10 – 12 August 2017.

Alauda Quartet – Italy, Japan, Serbia/Slovenia, Spain


Cristina Prats-Costa violin
Milan Berginc violin
Mari Adachi viola
Elena Cappelletti violoncello

Biography Alauda Quartet

The Alauda Quartet is one of the leading young European string quartets formed at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2011. An internationally diverse ensemble, the quartet shares a unifying passion for chamber music and a strong desire to explore the repertoire of the string quartet.

Selected as Park Lane Group artists in 2015 they gave their debut recitals at the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and St. Martin-in-the-fields in London. They were also selected Concert Artists with Making Music for 2016-17.

The quartet enjoys a busy performing schedule and has performed extensively across the UK at venues and festivals including Barbican Hall, Conway Hall, St Margarets Westminster, Kings Place, Kings Lynn Festival, Friends of Beaminster Festival, Bury St Edmunds Concert Club, Winchester College Concert Series, City Music Society, Avon Valley Concerts, Stockbridge Music Festival, Lincoln International Concert Series and Bradford Cathedral Chamber Series among others.

As well as their concerts in the UK the Alauda Quartet have enjoyed performing in various music festivals across Europe and Asia holding regular tours in Spain, Italy, Serbia and Germany. They gave their debut recital at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing in 2014.
The Alauda Quartet recorded at the Radio Nacional de España as part of the Young Artist Platform Series and have also been broadcast on Radio Vaticana in Rome.

From 2016 the Alauda quartet, under the guidance of Simone Gramaglia from the Quartetto Di Cremona, joined the Italian “Le dimore del quartetto” project, created by the Associazione Piero Farulli. During their time at the Royal Academy they studied with Jon Thorn and had masterclasses with eminent quartets including Belcea Quartet, Artemis, Endellions and Emerson. They also received their Masters in Chamber Music from the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover where they studied with Oliver Wille of the Kuss Quartet.

The Alauda quartet was selected to perform at IMS Prussia Cove in 2013 and since 2014 has been taking part on the ProQuartet – CEMC programme in France. At ProQuartet they studied with Günter Pichler with whom they also studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, July 2014. They have also had the great honour of performing for the late Sir Colin Davis.
They have recently recorded the complete string quartets of the Italian composer Roffredo Caetani, which have been released on Brilliant Classics in November 2016. The CD is a World premier recording supported by the Caetani foundation in Italy and will be promoted during the 2017 season. The Alauda Quartet is also involved in several educational projects across the UK.

Appointed Young Professional String Quartet in residence at Pro Corda in 2013 and giving workshops at public schools through the Westminster Music Service.

Cristina Prats-Costa plays a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, kindly on loan from MERITO String Instruments Trust GmbH.

Behn Quartet – Great-Britain, Netherlands, New-Zealand


Kate Oswin violin
Alicia Berendse violin
Lydia Abell viola
Ghislaine McMullin violoncello

Biography Behn Quartet

The Behn Quartet is formed of players from England, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Wales. Recipients of the Amadeus Prize 2016, they currently hold the CAVATINA Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music, and take their name from Aphra Behn, the seventeenth-­century playwright, political activist, and philanthropist of the arts.

Since their formation in 2015, the Behn Quartet have given recitals at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Guiting Music Festival, Leeds International Chamber Music Festival, at the Southbank Centre, Freemasons Hall, and Colston Hall Bristol. They were honoured to give the world premiere performance of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ final work at his
Memorial Concert in St John’s Smith Square. The Behn Quartet have recorded chamber works by Stravinsky, Maxwell-­Davies and Birtwistle for Linn Records in collaboration with Oliver Knussen, and their performances have been broadcast in the Netherlands, on NHK TV Japan, and live on BBC Radio 3. They have given concerts in association with ABRSM, the Concordia Foundation, and are currently resident quartet with Pro Corda. They were thrilled to collaborate with the Doric Quartet for a performance of Shostakovich Octet. The Behn Quartet were also part of the official 40th Anniversary celebrations of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, performing a specially-­commissioned “reimagination” of the iconic song featured in news outlets worldwide, and praised by Rolling Stone Magazine as “a sweeping performance as grand as the original”.

The Behn Quartet are mentored by Martin Outram and Levon Chilingirian, and currently study with Christoph Richter on the ChamberStudio masterclass scheme at Kings Place. They have received masterclasses from Lawrence Power, Hartmut Rohde, and the Fine Arts, Kelemen, Chiaroscuro, and Vanbrugh quartets, and also performed for the Takács Quartet in a masterclass on Beethoven at Wigmore Hall. Future engagements include a world premiere at the Swaledale Festival, the West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2017, and a season opener for the Aylesbury Lunchtime Recital Series 2017/18. The Behn Quartet also look forward to a residency at the Zhejiang Conservatory in China in October this year.

The Behn Quartet are generously supported by Help Musicians UK, the De Lancey & De La Hanty Foundation, and the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust.

New Music Quartet – Poland


Katarzyna Gluza violin
Paulina Marcisz violin
Karalina Orsik-Sauter viola
Monika Krasicka violoncello

Biography New Music Quartet

Nomad Quartet – Kazakhstan


Kamila Karasheva violin
Tomiris Issa violin
Tamila Umarkhanova viola
Nurlan Zhetiru violoncello

Biography Nomad Quartet

The quartet formed on the basis of the Kazakh National Conservatory named after Kurmangazy in 2013.The Nomad Quartet was born out of a passion for the string quartet repertoire. Formed by following students: Karasheva Kamila (1st violin), Issa Tomiris (2nd violin), Umarkhanova Tamila (viola) and Zhetiru Nurlan (cello). “Nomad” took its name in honor of the nomads who inhabited the territory of present Kazakhstan.

During the training process Quartet proved to be a bright formed ensemble, participating in concerts and events at the Conservatory and in Almaty and in Astana. Within the programs where were invited professors, Quartet participated in master classes with such professors as Alexander Galkovsky (Russia), the quartet Sonar (Berlin).

After an internship Tamila Umarhanova at Royal Northern College of music (United Kingdom), she received a proposal to participate in the Summer School West Dean from the teacher who taught her , Levon Chilingirian. The quartet has successfully passed the selection and received a scholarship from friends of Chilingirian Quartet for passing the master classes. There they gave concerts and were warmly welcomed by the British public. After the Summer School West Dean the quartet opened new horizons for creativity. Students are going to develop the domestic quartet school through participation in international master classes and competitions, having repertoire that includes not only classical works as well as works of national composers for the quartet.

Combine the achievements of Soviet classical performing schools, as well as unique Kazakh national colors, the Nomad Quartet is perspective young ensemble.

Pierrot Quartet – Germany


Johanne Klein violin
Luisa Höfs violin
Paula Heidecker viola
Hanna Kölbel violoncello

Biography Pierrot Quartet

The Pierrot Quartett was founded in spring 2011 by four young musicians who just had started their studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart, Germany. Since then they dedicated themselves intensely to playing as a string quartet and were fortunate enough to celebrate their first success soon after forming:

In February 2012 the Pierrot Quartett won the first price at the Carl-Wendling Chamber Music Competition and was awarded a scholarship by the Gert Volker Dill Foundation. Furthermore in summer 2012, the quartet was awarded a scholarship by the Volksbank Stuttgart. As one of only four internationally elected participants, the Pierrot Quartett took part in the Trondheim International Chamber Music Academy in September 2012 in Norway where they worked intensively with Prof. Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg
Quartett), the Quatuor Ebène and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. In 2013, the quartet participated in the International Chamber Music Campus Weikersheim by the Jeunesses Musicales and received guidance from Prof. Heime Müller (former Artemis Quartett) and the Vogler Quartett, amongst others. Working with Prof. Eberhard Feltz and Prof. Donald Weilerstein during the International Summer Academy for Chamber Music Niedersachsen 2016 meant an impressive new impulse to them.

The Pierrot Quartett was semifinalist in the International Mozart Competition for string quartet 2014 in Salzburg and the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award in Lugano 2015. In 2016 the quartet won the first price at the „Musikpreis“-competition of the Lions Club Stuttgart.

The four young ladies have developed an intense concert schedule and are guests of many chamber music festivals. As a quartet they have performed in venues including the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Residenz Würzburg, Mozarteum Salzburg, Maison Heinrich Heine Paris, Frimurerlogen Trondheim, Marmorsaal Wiesbaden, St. Severin Keitum (Sylt), Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, Kulturzentrum Zehntscheuer in Rottenburg am Neckar, Gammertinger Schlossfestspiele and Jazz- und Klassiktage Tübingen.

For a long time the ensemble was taught by Prof. Gerhard Schulz (Alban Berg Quartett) and Prof. Stefan Fehlandt (Vogler Quartett).

Since 2016, the Pierrot Quartett is attending the class of Prof. Oliver Wille (Kuss Quartett) at the Academy of Music, Drama and Media Hanover. Further notable influences include Pierre Colombet (Quatuor Ebène).

Quatuor Yako – France


Ludovic Thilly violin
Pierre Maestra  violin
Vincent Verhoeven viola
Alban Lebrun violoncello

Biography Yako Quartet

Founded in 2015 in Lyon, Quatuor Yako works with Yovan Markovitch and Luc-Marie Aguera (Ysaye Quartet), and is also studying since 2016 in the class of Christoph Poppen and Hariolf Schlichtig (Cherubini Quartet) in Munich. The quartet was a price winner of FNAPEC competition in Paris, in March 2016.

As ensemble in residence in ProQuartet (Paris), the Yako Quartet works with members of Alban Berg, Artemis, Vogler, and Belcea quartets.

The Yako Quartet appears in festivals and academies as Aix en Provence, Montepulciano, Villecroze, but also in the project « 50 for the Future» with Kronos Quartet (Holland Festival, Amsterdam 2016), or on stage with Bill T. Jones dance company (« Play and Play », filmed by Arte Concert)

In 2017, Quatuor Yako will play in Paris Philharmonie, Salle Molière (Lyon) and in many festivals in France.

Sonore Quartet – Germany, Serbia


Aleksandra Manic violin
Isabell Mengler violin
Christina Strimbeanu viola
Rebecca Krieg violoncello

Biography Sonore Quartet

The Sonore string quartet was founded in summer 2016 and is based in Karlsruhe. The quartet has a very remarkable musicality and a fine sense of interpretation of different styles and composers.

The members of the quartet are prize winners of international competitions and earned prices like for example the EMCY prize and performed in festivals like for example the Rheingau Music Festival, in prestigious concert halls like the Cologne Philharmonie, Festspielhaus Baden- Baden and in countries such as china, brasil, korea, italy to name just a few.

The quartet gets influenced by Lena Sandoz from the Amaryllis quartet and Prof. Peter Buck from the Melos quartet.

2016 they won the „Klassik im Schloss“ string quartet competition in Karlsruhe, Germany and end of 2016 they recorded their debut CD supported by the Sparda Bank.

Masterclasses with Prof. Ana Chumachenco, Prof. Zakhar Bron, Prof. Pierre Amoyal, Prof. Christian Tetzlaff and chamber music partners such as Vilde Frang, Laurent Breuninger and Laszlo Fenyo affected the members playing.

The members are scholarship holders from the „Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben“, „Oscar und Vera Ritter Stiftung“, „Landessammlung Baden- Württemberg“ and „Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now“.


Aleksandra Manic, violin, born in 1992, studies Master of Music with Prof. Elina Vähälä at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe.

Isabell Mengler, violin, born in 1992, studies Solistenexamen with Prof. Josef Rissin at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe.

Christina Strimbeanu, viola, born in 1991, studies Master of Music with Prof. Johannes Lüthy.

Rebecca Krieg, cello, born in 1995, studies Bachelor of Music with Prof. Laszlo Fenyö.