The Silesian Quartet was founded in 1978. At first the ensemble honed their artistic skills through studies with members of the LaSalle, Amadeus, Juilliard, Smetana, and Alban Berg Quartets. Meanwhile, the Silesian Quartet’s repertoire encompasses more than four hundred works, three hundred of which are from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Silesian musicians have premiered nearly a hundred string quartets by Polish and foreign composers, many of which were dedicated to the ensemble. In the course of its thirty years of existence, the quartet has given performances in most European countries as well as in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. They have performed to acclaim in such renowned concert halls as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, De Singel in Antwerp, the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Copenhagen’s Tivoli, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Hoam Art Hall in Seoul, and the Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
The Silesian Quartet prides itself for its rich phonographic output. While the musicians have recorded music of various styles and backgrounds, they have specialized in Polish contemporary music of the last thirty years. Their recordings are available on the ECM, EMI Poland, Olympia, CD Accord, and Radio Katowice labels. Of the thirty-eight recordings released so far, three have received the national “Fryderyk Award” for best chamber performance: Henryk M. Górecki (Olympia, 1995) , Karol Szmanowski / Witold Lutosławski (CD Accord, 1997), and Ernest Chausson (Radio Katowice, 2004).
Since 1993, the ensemble has organized the chamber music festival “Silesian Quartet and their Guests,” which for sixteen years now has attracted some of the world’s most outstanding artists.
The Silesian Quartet has received a number of awards, including the Golden Cross of Merit (1999), the Golden Orpheus of the Warsaw Autumn Festival 2002 for the best performance of a work by a Polish composer, the Gold Badge of Honor for service to the Region of Silesia (2005), the medal “In Service of Culture Gloria Artis” (2008), and S. Ligoń’s Radio Katowice Award (2008).
Since 2005, the Silesian Quartet’s main patron has been the municipal government of Gliwice. The Gliwice Music Theater is the quartet’s partner in joint projects.
Komponist: Joachim Mendelson, Roman Padlewski, Simon Laks