Ph. Juri Hiensch
Kaja Nowak, violin
Natalia Kotarba, violin
Diede Verpoest, viola
Julia Kotarba, cello
Rapidly gaining recognition on the international music scene for its passionate interpretations of works ranging from Haydn to 21st century repertoire, the Karski Quartet was formed in Belgium in 2018 and performs in a wide range of venues throughout Europe. In the 2022/23 season in addition to performing in Belgium and abroad the Karskis will be recording their first CD album, as well as a Boccherini string quintet disc together with cellist Raphaël Feye.
The quartet’s founding members are violinists Kaja Nowak and Natalia Kotarba, violinist and violist Diede Verpoest and cellist Julia Kotarba. Having played with one another in many different combinations, the four met as a quartet during the 2018 Resonances Festival Academy. Soon after they were awarded the Grand Prix as well as the Special Prize for the alumni of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels at the 4th International Music Competition Triomphe de l’Art in Brussels. More recently, they became laureates of the Christine and David Anderson Career Development Prize at the 2022 Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Their mentors have been Philippe Graffin, David Waterman (Endellion Quartet), Donald Grant (Elias Quartet) and Simon Rowland-Jones (Chilingirian Quartet). The Karskis received further training opportunities while taking part in residencies such as the String Quartet Studio programme at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam residency, and a three year programme as Artists in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels/Waterloo, studying with members of the Artemis Quartet and Miguel da Silva as well as participating in masterclasses with members of other renowned quartets such as the Belcea, Ébène or Jerusalem. They have also been selected to join Le Dimore del Quartetto network.
Karski Quartet takes its name from Jan Karski, the legendary World War II resistance-movement figure. Commited as he was to showing others the dramatic truth about the war, the Karski Quartet members strongly believe that every era needs heroes like him. Amid the serious difficulties which the whole human population is facing now, they find Karski’s profound compassion and uncompromising attitude an example to be emulated in art as well as in life.