The Jenufa Quartet
Lively and inspiring: a concert by the Jenufa Quartet is an experience. As quiet as a whisper or lively and loud, the four musicians play with total commitment with the aim of passing on their love of quartet music to their audiences. They have been described in the music press as a group ‘with the ability to translate the feelings and musical meaning of the composers combined with their technical perfection’. A short introduction will be given for each piece before it is played.
The Jenufa Quartet, named after the opera ‘Jenufa’ by the Czech composer Léos Janácek, was founded in 1994 and has developed into a lively and inspiring string quartet. The quartet currently performs a repertoire ranging from Haydn to contemporary music. In the past the quartet has regularly studied in Prague with Milan Skampa, which has resulted in a special affinity with Czech chamber music. They also like to play contemporary music of Dutch origin where a deep feeling for the music has been developed through personal contact with the composers.
The quartet is one of the first quartets to have graduated from ‘De Nederlandse Strijkkwartet Academie’ (The Dutch String Quartet Institute), the professional training organisation for young and talented string quartets. Here they were intensively coached by cellist Stefan Metz and members of world-famous string quartets like the Amadeus Quartet, the Borodin Quartet, the Prazak Quartet and the Allegri Quartet.
The Jenufa Quartet attracted their attention in various competitions and they reached the semi-finals of the ‘Premio Vittorio Gui’ international chamber music competition in Florence, Italy. They also won the Audience Prize at the ‘National Chamber Music Festival’ in Almere, The Netherlands.
The Quartet has played together with well-known musicians like the violinist Vladimir Mendelssohn, the pianists Jean Dubé, Rian de Waal and Frank van de Laar, the mezzo soprano Tania Cross and the harpist Lavinia Meijer.
They have also performed at various festivals such as the Orlando Festival, Amsterdam’s Grachten (Canal) Festival, Festival Classique in The Hague, ‘Kamermuziek in het Groen’ in Eindhoven and the Festival of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, where the music press described them: ‘They demonstrated musical maturity, technical perfection and sublime expression’.
The Jenufa Quartet was selected for the concert series ‘Het Debuut’(The Debut) which resulted in the quartet playing in the major concert halls throughout The Netherlands. They also made a concert tour in France.
The quartet has played on several occasions in ‘Muziekcentrum Vredenburgh’ in the city of Utrecht as well as the ‘Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ’ and ‘Het Concertgebouw’ in Amsterdam. Several concerts have also been broadcast on the national radio, some of them live. For instance the ‘Zondagochtendconcert’ (Sunday Morning Concert) at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in February 2009. This programme is broadcast every Sunday with classical music groups and soloists from many parts of the world taking part.
The quartet has also performed on various occasions on Dutch television on programmes such as ‘Vrije Geluiden’ (in 2008).
Naomi Peters plays a ‘père’
Bernadel violin which was built in 1831. Mintje van Lier plays a violin
which was built by Johannes Franciscus Cuypers (1812), which has been loaned
to her by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds (The National Musical
Instrument Fund). Marjolein Dispa plays a viola from Domenicus Busan which
was built in 1780. Rosalie Seinstra plays a cello built around the year 1900
and uses a bow made by H.R. Pfretschner.