Andras Keller - violin
Zoltan Gal- viola
Janos Pilz - violin
Judit Szabo - cello
The Hungarian Keller Quartet was formed in 1987 by four students at the Franz Liszt Music School in Hungary. In 1990, within a four-week period, the Quartet won two of the most important European string quartet competitions: the Evian International String Quartet Competition and the second Borciani International Competition. In both they received not only the first prize but also all the additional prizes. Although the Quartet members still appear as soloists, they have chosen quartet music as their priority.
Since its formation the Keller Quartet has demonstrated its mastery of a broad range of repertoire from Schubert to Bartok and Kurtag. The Quartet works closely with professors Sandor Devich, Andras Mihaly and Gyorgy Kurtag. Kurtag has also composed a number of works for Andras Keller and the Keller Quartet, most recently his latest string quartet which he composed together with his son and was premiered by the Keller Quartet in Vienna last season. Besides the mainstream repertoire they are regular champions of contemporary music and each season perform two or three new works.
The Keller Quartet prides itself on its curiosity; curiosity about musical encounters with musicians and composers of all genres; curiosity about new forms of programming; curiosity about unusual program arrangements showing a dramatic touch. A clear example of this is their inspirational Bach/Kurtag program where movements from Bach's Art of Fugue are intertwined with works by Gyorgy Kurtag. They have performed this at a number of distinguished venues in Europe, notably the Edinburgh Festival and at a late night Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. The Quartet is now championing a new work by Jorg Widmann; seven short works composed as a commentary between the movements of Haydn's Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross. This joint commission between the Berlin Festwochen and Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker was premiered at the 2003 Festivals.
In the last five years the Keller Quartet has been invited to many of the major European Festivals such as Lockenhaus, Salzburg, La Roque d'Antheron, Schleswig-Holstein, Lucerne and Montreux. They have performed in all the major cities in Europe such as Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Leipzig and Frankfurt and have recently presented complete Bartok String Quartet cycles in Cologne, Bremen and Stuttgart. In the UK they have performed at the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Edinburgh Festival and the Proms. They appeared at the BBC's Schnittke Festival in 2001 performing Quartets and the Piano Quintet with Alexei Lubimov.
The Keller Quartet has made many recordings and their complete Bartok cycle on Erato caused a sensation when it was released and won a Deutsche Schallplattenpreis. More recently, on ECM, they have recorded Bach's Art of Fugue as well as the complete works of Kurtag for String Quartet. Their latest CD includes Schnittk's Piano Quintet (with Alexei Lubimov) and Shostakovich's final Quartet.