Le Dimore del Quartetto

BELINFANTE QUARTET, THE NETHERLANDS

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Olivia Scheepers, violin
Fiona Robertson, violin
Henrietta Hill, viola
Pau Marquès Oleo, cello

The Belinfante Quartet is quickly becoming known as one of the most innovative Dutch string quartets. With the aim of sharing a passion for music with the wider public, they perform works from the core of the string quartet repertoire and combine them with lesser-known masterpieces.

With their name, the quartet would like to honour Frieda Belinfante, being a cellist and the first professional female conductor in Europe. Her sincerity, perseverance and fervour, in music as well as in other aspects of her life, form a magnificent source of inspiration.

The quartet has performed at festivals throughout Europe including the String Quartet Biënnale Amsterdam, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, Zeistermuziekdagen, Wonderfeel, Trondheim Chamber Music Festival and Stift International Festival. Recent engagements have included performances at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Doelen in Rotterdam and TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht. The quartet regularly performs live on European radio stations such as NPO Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3 and their recent Debut CD release Ellipse with the Dutch label 7 Mountain Records has received international acclaim.

In addition to these activities, the quartet enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with other artists including internationally renowned pianist Nino Gvetadze, cellist Maya Fridman, Urban Dance Group Static and visual artist Jordi Cárdenas, together with whom they won the 2019 Delft Chamber Music Festival Award.

The Belinfante Quartet is currently studying at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover with Professor Oliver Wille and they were recently selected to take part in MUSA (European young MUsicians soft Skills Alliance) residency by Le Dimore del Quartetto. In 2021-2022 they were one of the quartets in residence at the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam Residency. The Belinfante quartet has performed in masterclasses with Eberhard Feltz, Isabel Charisius and the Jerusalem, Casals, Signum, Ébène and Danel Quartets.

Olivia Scheepers plays a Sorzana violin and a Maline bow
Fiona Robertson plays a violin Julia Maria Pasch 2015
Henrietta Hill plays a viola Paul Noulet 2018 
Pau Marquès plays a cello Max Möckel 1905

www.belinfantequartet.com

THE BELINFANTE QUARTET RECORDINGS

Henriette Bosmans – String Quartet (1927)

Recorded at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam in February 2021

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Joseph Bologne – String Quartet Op. 4 No. 1

Recorded at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam in February 2021

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Ellipse is about being close and about being far from each other. About a timeless, eternal travel. This speaks for the musicians (coming from different countries and backgrounds) but for the music as well. Time wise, Caroline Shaw and John Playford are almost four centuries apart, but Britten and Shaw, however, are much closer. The latter composers explore harmony, form structure and create a joyful experience for the musicians in playing the pieces. Nonetheless, one can experience the presence of the English language in both the Renaissance writings and the 20th/21st C compositions. To bridge the program even further, Arthur Klaassens arranged Playford’s dances such that there are many associations for the listener with Shaw’s music and Britten’s Three Divertimenti.

Aside from spacing, an ellipse form also has different velocities. At its corners it’s speedy, in the middle it’s lazy. The program on this scintillating debut of the Belinfante Quartet reflects this phenomenon in numerous ways: whether it’s the kinetic and virtuosic solo cadenza’s in Britten’s 3rd movement of his 2nd Quartet, the brisk dances of Playford or the lyrical and elegant 2nd movement of the Divertimenti. Profound, animated, orchestral, affectionate playing, all of this is richly represented in the performance of the Belinfante Quartet.

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NRC Handelsblad
"[...]The Belinfante Quartet began with Benjamin Britten's whimsical Second String Quartet, which sounds like a journey through an eventful history. At first the notes were like a rope of time slowly unrolling, then a struggle between drama and stillness unfolded. Belinfante made it a fascinating radio play with Shakespearean characters" - Joost Galema

OLIVIA, FIONA, HENRIETTA AND PAU

Known for their genuine and compassionate performances, the Belinfante Quartet chooses to play repertoire with a meaning. The quartet has a special affinity with contemporary music and the members often arrange their own music to play, including various arrangements of folk music from around the world. In addition to this, they regularly collaborate with other artists, including visual artists, dancers and filmmakers. The Belinfante Quartet believes that quartet concerts should be for everyone and it is their aim to share their music with the widest audience possible.