Formed in 2005, the Chiaroscuro Quartet consists of the violinists Alina Ibragimova (Russia) and Pablo Hernán Benedí (Spain), the Swedish violist Emilie Hörnlund and cellist Claire Thirion from France. Dubbed ‘a trailblazer for the authentic performance of High Classical chamber music’ in Gramophone, this highly international ensemble performs music of the Classical period on gut strings. The quartet’s unique sound – described in The Observer as ‘a shock to the ears of the best kind’ – is highly acclaimed by audiences and critics all over Europe, with its lithe and gracious playing combined with an extraordinarily committed ensemble mentality. An acclaimed and growing discography includes recordings of music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Haydn. The ensemble was a prizewinner at the German Förderpreis Deutschlandfunk/ Musikfest Bremen in 2013 and received Germany’s most prestigious CD award, the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, in 2015. Among the ensemble’s chamber music partners are renowned artists such as Kristian Bezuidenhout, Nicolas Baldeyrou, Chen Halevi, Trevor Pinnock, Malcolm Bilson, Jonathan Cohen and Christophe Coin.
Since 2009, the Quartet has been artist-in-residence at Port Royal-des-Champs, giving a concert series dedicated to Mozart’s string quartets. The players are Menuhin Festival Artists at the Gstaad Festival and perform at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall and Gulbenkian Foundation.