Simply Quartet: - NOSPR
The Simply Quartet was founded in Shanghai in 2008 under the tutelage of Prof. Jensen Horn-Sin Lam. Originally an all-Chinese-quartet, the group’s musical journey took it to Vienna in 2012. This resulted in a change in formation, in which two of the original players Danfeng Shen (violin) and Xiang Lu (viola) were joined by Norwegian cellist Ivan Valentin Hollup Roald (in 2016) and Austrian violinist Antonia Rankersberger (in 2018). They are studying with Prof. Johannes Meissl (Artis Quartet) at the Joseph Haydn Institute for Chamber Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.
Currently based in Vienna, the quartet has been focusing on the roots of the German and Austrian string quartet repertoire for the past few years. This is reflected in the ensemble’s recent success at some of the major international competitions. At the 2017 Haydn Competition in Vienna they were awarded First Prize in addition to the special prize for the best interpretation of a work by Joseph Haydn and for the best interpretation of the competition’s commissioned work. In February 2018 they won the First Prize in the International “Schubert and Modern Music” Chamber Music Competition. They have also given several concerts in the Haydn and Beethoven Houses in Vienna and in Baden, as well as in the Lower Austrian “Haydn Region”.
2019 was a year full of success for the Simply Quartet. At the international string quartet competition “Quatuors á Bordeaux” in June, the quartet was awarded the Grand Prix, which contains a three year world tour arranged by the CLB Management and Künstleragentur Vivace. In October they claimed yet another big achievement, winning the First Prize at the Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition in Copenhagen.
The Simply Quartet has been receiving more and more attention throughout Europe in recent years with acclaimed performances at venues like the Wigmore Hall, the Wiener Musikverein and Konzerthaus, the Berlin Konzerthaus, MuTh concert hall in Vienna, the Stefanien Hall in Graz, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Concertsaal in Tilburg, Louisiana Museum in Denmark, the Emergents Festival in l’Auditori in Barcelona, the Casa da Musica in Portugal, the Rachmaninov Hall in Moscow, the Vatican Museum and at the Banff Centre of the Arts. They also performed at festivals such as the Pablo Casals Festival, Montréal Chamber Music Festival, the Shanghai Chamber Music Festival, the Ravenna Festival, Februari Festival in The Hague, the Ghent Festival in Belgium, the Styrian Chamber Music Festival and Allegro Vivo in Lower Austria (Waldviertel).
Coming seasons will see them at the Berliner Philharmonie, at the Philharmonie de Paris, at the Wiener Konzerthaus, at the Davos Festival, at the Musique de Chambre in Marseille, at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, at the St. Gallen Festival and Music en Médoc in France in Hoylake in Wirral and in Shanghai - with confirmed tours in the UK and Israel.
As of the season 20/21, Simply Quartet is chosen to be a part of the program Great Talent at the Wiener Konzerthaus as one of Austria’s most promising, young artists. It will comprehend several performances in the Wiener Konzerthaus, getting extensive artistic support. They will also perform with prominent artists during that season.
In addition to working on the major string quartet repertoire, the quartet is exploring new music from their member countries China, Austria and Norway. They also performed the premiere of Brad Lubmans’ string quartet “Fleeting Moments” at the Grafenegg Festival in 2017.
Pursuing new approaches, the ensemble took part in the 2017 Musethica Festival in Zaragoza and Vienna, where they performed in institutions such as schools with special needs, in prisons, homeless shelters, adult education facilities, far away from traditional concert culture. The quartet also performed various performances as part of the children's concerts at the Wiener Konzerthaus, including a cooperation with the beatbox artist RoBeat.
The Simply Quartet has been a member of the ECMA, European Chamber Music Academy since 2017. As part of the academy, the ensemble travels all over Europe to work intensively with professors such as Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg Quartet), Alfred Brendel, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Patrick Jüdt, Miguel da Silva, Antonello Farulli and Michel Lethiec. The ensemble gets further impulses from Gerhard Schulz. (ABQ).
In addition to the prizes mentioned above, the Simply Quartet can look back on a long list of prizes achieved at competitions like the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, the Irene Steels Wilsing Competition in Heidelberg, the Shanghai Chamber Music Competition, the Beijing International Quartet Competition, the Casinos Austria Rising Star Award 2017, the ECMA Prize, the Artis Quartet-Prize and the Wiener Classic Prize of the ISA (the International Summer Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna).