● Ensemble


habaHába Quartet

Violin: Sha Katsouris | Violin: Hovhannes Mokatsian |
Violin: Peter Zelienka | cello: Arnold Ilg

To be a string quartet between classic and modern, with the highest demand to represent and serve the music literature - this is what the members of the Hába String Quartet, who played now together for more than one decade, have always been aiming for.

The history of the ensemble now stretches back for more than fifty years. Founded in Prague in 1946 by the violinist Dušan Pandula, the Hába Quartet´s focus even then was on collaboration with important contemporary composers such as Martinů, Berio, Bialas and Yun, and especially with the leading composer of the microtonal school, Alois Hába, who gave his name and also dedicated the last twelve of his seventeen quartets to the ensemble. In 1968, the quartet disbanded after Dušan Pandula defected to West Germany. Sixteen years later, he re-formed the quartet in 1984, this time in Frankfurt with his pupil Peter Zelienka.
The quartet sees itself as the direct successor and bearer of the long-standing tradition of the Hába Quartet. This allows the ensemble´s members (Sha Katsouris and Hovhannes Mokatsian-violins, Peter Zelienka-Viola and Arnold Ilg-cello) to make Alois Hába´s works accessible with a high degree of authenticity.
The Hába Quartet does not only specialize in contemporary music, but their repertoire also covers various epochs and many rarely played pieces. The recording of Nicolai Roslawez´s string quartets received especially high critical acclaim. The ensemble´s versatility has been demonstrated in extensive concert activities at home and abroad, including broadcasts and performances at major festivals such as Salzburg, Graz, Munich, Hannover, Berlin, The Hague and Prague.
During a successful concert tour to China, the ensemble members were involved in intensive teaching activities. Since 2002 the Hába Quartet has their own concert series at St. John´s Church in Kronberg / Taunus. Their latest projects are recordings of the complete string quartets of Alois Hába and the 4 Flute Quartets of W. A. Mozart with Sebastian Wittiber, Solo Flutist of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Both recordings will appear in the near future.

Photo: Jérôme Gravenstein