Armida Quartet join Chichester Chamber Concerts series

Armida Quartett - pic by Felix BroedeArmida Quartett - pic by Felix Broede
Armida Quartett - pic by Felix Broede
The Armida Quartet are the next guests in the Chichester Chamber Concerts series for a concert on Thursday, February 23 in the Assembly Room, Chichester Council House, North Street (tickets from Chichester Festival Theatre).

They comprise Martin Funda violin; Johanna Staemmler violin; Teresa Schwamm viola; and Peter-Philipp Staemmler cello. Their programme will be: Schumann: Quartet in A major, Op 41, No 3; Marko Nikodjevic: String Quartet No 2 (UK première); Brahms: String Quartet No 3 in B flat major, Op. 67.

Johanna said: “All members of the Armida Quartet studied in Berlin from 2005. The group then formed in 2006 at the same time as the Artemis Quartet began to teach at the University of Arts in Berlin. It was a perfect coincidence so we signed up for our chamber music masters in their class.”

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Teresa added: “At the very beginning we didn’t have any specific plans in mind. We just enjoyed making music together and liked each other so we also became good friends. After a while we had the ambition to apply for several competitions and we realised that we could be successful with what we were doing. In 2012 we won the first prize in the major ARD competition in Munich and that also provided us with a platform which was so helpful.”

Things developed strongly, as Martin says: “We continued working very hard with fantastic teachers and musicians and found a way to improve without getting too much on each other’s nerves. We became part of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme (BBC NGA) and were chosen to be part of the European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO) Rising Stars scheme which gave us a season of tours to Europe’s major concert halls in 2016/17. All that opened the doors to other countries and there it was: the quartet life we had imagined.

“On the ECHO Rising Stars tour we had to choose a contemporary composer for our programme and we premiered the 1st string quartet of Marko Nikodijevic. We really loved his music and working with him so we commissioned a 2nd quartet, the UK premiere of which we will be bringing to Chichester.”

Martin again: “It’s a competitive world but that’s not what is driving us. We want to show our way of making music and find our own language. In our opinion there is enough audience for everyone out there without getting in the way of each other. On the contrary: we like to listen and talk to other groups who are living the same dream as we do so we can learn from each other.”

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Teresa again: “Each quartet is unique in every possible way. As often, I guess, having a good mixture helps finding balance. And like in all interpersonal relationships: you don't find the balance and then keep it forever; no, you have to find it again and again! But this is what makes it so wonderful and interesting.”

Tickets from the CFT.​

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