When four friends established the ensemble EntreQuatre forty years ago, it never occurred to them in their wildest dreams that the result would be a permanent quartet with activities covering the entire panorama of guitar music. Moreover, thanks to their originality, they have inspired the creation of new compositions – today there is already a respectable number of works for four guitars. The quartet’s founder Manuel Paz recalls the difficulties they had at first: “When I phoned the director of one festival back in 1987, the call was very brief. He cut me off right away, saying ‘Guitars? But we’re a serious festival.’ Not even radio stations were interested in hearing about us: supposedly four guitars, four tubas, four harps – that never works. But the situation changed gradually; we began to hear from orchestras and composers, and radio stations were interested in premieres.”
The EntreQuatre has undertaken a tremendous journey since then, and along the way it has had brilliant successes at New York’s Carnegie Hall, at the National Auditorium in Madrid, in Warsaw, Pretoria, Dublin, Bogata, the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, in Washington, and at the UN headquarters in New York as well as at festivals in Salamanca, Alicante, and Miami and at the Spanish-Portuguese festival Peninsula. They were nominated for a Grammy in 2009.
Epoque Quartet shares with its Spanish counterpart an open approach to a variety of musical styles: besides the Classical repertoire, it also devotes itself to crossover music, jazz, rock, and funk. Founded in 1999, the quartet has performed at prestigious festivals including Schleswig-Holstein, the Stuttgart Philharmonic Series, Czech Dreams, Viva musica, Metamorphosen, Český Krumlov, Concentus Moravie, the Dvořák’s Prague Festival, and Prague Spring. With Radek Baborák, it collaborates in the combined chamber ensemble Orchestrino. Last year, the ensemble released a CD titled Flow with the pianist David Braid, and it went on a major tour of Canada and New York. It has appeared with jazz artists such as George Mraz, Beny Baily, Yoshiko Kishino, and Robert Balcar, the singers Dan Bárta, Matěj Ruppert and Monkey Business, Stromboli, Tata Bojs, the pianist Martin Brunner, and many other artists. In April of 2017, they will be accompanying Dagmar Pecková in the cabaret performance Wanted at Lucerna, and in May and September, they will be giving concerts in China.
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